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JOmmeiftt. /^''ij^JmAnMyrruy 

















• .• 

** * * 

>••• • '•• ». 

• ••••• * • 

• * •- • •• • • 


The pretensions of this Volume are very humble, as it consists of 
little more than an arrangement of notes made during several excur- 
sions in the South of Ireland between the years 1812 and 1822. — 
These I have endeavoured to condense into a popular shape rather 
than extend by minute detail. 

Politics have been carefiilly avoided; whether this will be con- 
sidered a recommendation, or a defect, I have yet to learn; but on 
a subject which has called forth so much ^ngry discussion, I feel 
neither qualified nor inclined to offer an opinion. 

In a Tour through part of the counties of Cork, Waterford, and 
Limerick, in 1821, Miss Nicholson and Mr. Alfired Nicholson were 
my companions: — to their pencils this Volume is chiefly indebted 
for its illustrations; and my best acknowledgments are likewise due 
to Mr. W. H. Brooke, for the careful manner in which he has pre- 
pared my sketches for the Wood Engravings printed with the 

22d December, 1823. 


Chapter I. History and National Character Page 1 

IL Scenery and Travelling 18 

III. Limerick 37 

IV. KilmaHock 61 

y. Fairies and Supernatural Agency 78 

'VI. Charleville, Doneraile, and Buttevant 100 

VII. The River Blackwater 119 

Vni. YoughaU 143 

IX. Keens and Death Ceremonies ' . 166 

X. Cork 185 

XI. Cork Harbour 207 

XII. Manners and Customs 220 

XIII. Cloyne 238 

XIV. Architecture and Ancient Buildings 259 

XV. The River Lee 274 

XVI. Blarney 291 

XV)I. Mines and Minerals 310 

XVin. Literature 325 


Round Tower at Cloyne, County Cork, to face Title 

Cascade at Powerscourt page 25 

Limerick 37 

KiDaloe 55 

Carrigogunnel Castle 58 

The North Gate at Kilmallock : 61 

Kihnallock 63 

Kilmallock (Figures on Verdon Tomby and Ground Plan) 65 

¥S[co\mKa( The Residence of Spencer) 109 

Buttevant Abbey 113 

Ollistrum's March 116 

Lismore 125 

Castle Town Roche ^ 135 

Mallow 141 

Ardmore, County Waterford 161 

Druidical Altar, Castle Mary 254 

Carrinacurra Castle ' 284 


Page 110, line 90, fir are read is. 

Ill, 1 1,/or Hibemia read Hibemica. 
1^» B,ybr past read paaaed. 

ISS, 5, fir chyphen read cyphers. 

179, 5 (of note), fir oceans read ocean. 
289, 4, /or Senant read Senan. 

307, 8,/or Milltken read Millilun. 

341, 8,/or at Boyne read at the Boyne. 






All only for to publish plaine, 

Tyme past^ tyme present both : 
That tyme to come, may well retaine. 

Of each good tyme, the troth." 

Thomas Churchyards Wartimes cf Wales, 

Intimately connected as are the Sister Islands of Great Britain 
and Ireland, it is an extraordin a ry fact that the latter country should / / / 

be comparatively a t erra incognita to the English^ in^general, who, 
notwithstanding their love of travel and usual spirit of inquiry, are 
still contented to remain very imperfectly acquainted with the actual 
state of so near a portion of the British empire. 
To the facility of its access may in some measure be ascribed the 


- I. 


indifference usually betrayed on this subject, since we often aspire 
to what is uncertain of attainment, and are unwilling to submit to 
the fatigues of travelling without exciting difficulties. Another, •nd 
perhaps a still stronger reason, may be discovered in the little im- 
portance attached to Irish History during the course of an English 
education, as it is regarded that of a dependent colony ^* transmitting 
to posterity only insignificance, oppression, and warfare." 

Closer study would prove that in poUtical feeling, in language, in 
manners, and almost every particular which stamps a national cha- 
racter, the two Islands differ essentially. 

To the history of past ages we must refer for the means of ascer- 
taining the present state of any people : for in remote events existing 
traits of character originate, that like mountain-streams become im- 
portant in their progress. Distinctions will be found between the 
peasantry of England and Ireland, (for in the lower classes alone can 
national distinctions be traced,) in proportion to the variation of 
feature in the respective annals of their countries, and to the minute 
and liberal observer a summary of each may be read in the present 

The rough and honest independence of the English cottager speaks 
the freedom he has so long enjoyed, and when really injured his 
appeal to the laws for redress and protection marks their impartial 
and just administration : the witty servility of the Irish peasantry, 
mingled with occasional bursts of desperation and revenge — ^the 
devoted yet visionary patriotism — the romantic sense of honour, and 
improvident yet unalterable attachments, are evidences of a conquest 
without system, an irregular government, and the remains of feudal 
clanship, the barbarous and arbitrary organization of a warlike 

If a desire for information on the present state of Ireland exists^ 
the past should be attentively studied ; but the difficulty of placing 
ourselves ii) remote times^ and of recalling contemporary opinions 


and maDners, is very great, and this must be accomplished before 
we can draw correct inferences, or arrive at just conclusions. 

The labours of the antiquary are here of infinite service ; and from 
the undigested stores which his investigation and research have 
amassed, it is for others to select and apply. That many apparently 
insignificant objects are raised into real importance by this zeal for 
collecting is unquestionable, and it is frequently asked, with a smile 
of conscious superiority to such supposed trifling pursuits, the use of 
deciphering an obscure inscription or investigating an ancient relic 
— the querist forgetful or ignorant of its value as a literary record, or 
as a memorial of the progress of art, and of the effect produced by 
both literature and art on national character. Thus trivial remains 
of former ages assume a consequence unbecoming similsgr works of 
modem formation, as they affi)rd a means of forming a correct judg- 
ment of the civilization, knowledge and taste of the period to which 
they belong. 

How closely the past influences the present, and how necessary 
an acquaintance with the one is for understanding the other, appears 
so evident, that even those who measure every work by its immediate 
utility must allow the records and relics which remain to have claims 
on the attention superior to those of mere curiosity. The vulgar 
superstition — the traditionary tale — even the romantic legend — pos- 
sess a relative value from the conclusions to which they lead ; and 
every fragment that we glean, is important as preserving ancient and 
decaying peculiarities, from which alone a just estimation of former 
transactions can be derived. 

These remarks are perhaps necessary to vindicate this volume, 
should the charge of prolixity be brought against it; and they 
describe the tone and object of the following pages, which aim at 
collecting and preserving some insulated facts that shed an additional 
light on the past circumstances and present state of Ireland. It is 
not intended to dazzle the reader with elaborate descriptions of the 



tegal splendour of Tare, the scholastic learning of Lisniore, or the 
achievements of Brian and of Malachi, that unfairly usurp the symr 
pathies awakened in our childhood for magic banquets, enchanted 
castles and the chivalry of the Seven Champions ; although the 
veracity of these marvellous stories, aided by a deceptive precision 
of date, has been maintained by many Irish historians with a sophistry 
at once ingenious and absurd. Whether the matter of such old 
chronicles be false or true, there is now little to be gleaned from those 
repositories of monkish labour, either of an amusing or an instructive 


I have made use of the Journal of a Tour through some of the 
Southern Counties, as the most convenient means of combining and 
conveying information derived from various sources, with topogra- 
phical reniarks, and observations on the manners and superstitions 
of the peasantry. Taking the broad outHne of rational and authentic 
history, since the connection of England with Ireland, my object 
has also been to illustrate the cause of existing distinctions between 
their respective children — a difference of so strong and peculiar a 
pature as decidedly to separate those who should feel united in one 
common interest, and which, under slight modifications, still threatens 
to render Ireland the scene of serious disaffection. My labours may 
be imperfect, and have unavoidably been limited to the districts 
treated op ; yet I can with confidence claim the merit of having been 
an impartial observer and a faithful narrator of such events as have 
occurred within my own knowledge. 

A general review of the History of Ireland presents few features, 
that will gratify the pride of a native or the feelings of an English- 
man. Conquered, without being subdued, a wild and unruly spirit 
qf independence flickered amongst the chieftains from age to age, 
unextinguished by a deluge of blood: — the faith pledged to the 
victors was broken at every favourable opportunity; revolt succeeded 
revolt, and what was by one party considered as treason and rebel- 


lioD,.was by the other regarded as just, or at least justifiable: this 
proceeded from an imperfect and individual, rather than an universal 

. The invasion of Ireland by Strongbow ?ind Raymond le Gros 
originated more in private speculation than from public circum- 
stances ; and it was not until Henry II. had observed the progress 
made by these adventurers, that he afforded them assistance, which 
even then was granted with jealousy and suspicion. 

A series of centuries present numberless struggles on the part of 
the Irish to throw off their subjugation to England, the results of 
which were partial and ineffectual, while the invaders maintained 
their newly acquired dominion with unyielding grasp, and, confined 
within a district termed " the Pale,'' were continually harassed by 
" the Irish enemy,'' whose internal feuds rendered them unable to 
follow up any advantage which they obtained. 

When Elizabeth ascended the throne of England, foreign invasion 
and domestic security rendered it necessary to end this protracted 
system of temporizing, and to complete the conquest of Ireland; and 
those empowered by the English government carried this intention 
into effect with unrelaxed severity : " These deputies, and the depu- 
ties of the deputies, were strangers and soldiers, needy and tyrannical 
— their duty, conquest, — ^their reward, plunder, — ^their residence, an 
encampment, — ^their administration, a campaign." 

It would seem that the utter extirpation of the native population 
was the object proposed : — ^those entrusted with the prosecution of 
this desolating policy declare in the public despatches of their pro- 
ceedings addressed to the queen, that " they have endeavoured to 
make Ireland as a rased table whereon her Majesty might write her 
own laws ;" and again, " that nothing but the sword held over their 
heads could contain the remaining Irish in subjection ;".— but it is 
both needless and painful to multiply quotations, when a volume 
might be filled with similar effusions. 


Scenes of massacre and bloodshed^ too horrible for relaticm — of 
treacherous and wanton murder, where every bond and tie of nature^ 
of honour and humanity were violated, were circumstances of so 
common occurrence in Irish history at the close of the sixteenth 
century, as scarcely to excite attention, or awaken feeling, in those 
who have detailed the events of that era, and who by familiarity with 
horror seem to have become callous to it. 

In the historians of these times, and whose language has been 
adopted by latter writers, the epithets ** perfidious traitor'' and 
" notorious rebel" are applied to every Irish chieftain — ^terms that 
almost silence further inquiry; but if the Irish were rebels and 
traitors, the English were at the same time plunderers and tyrants ; 
their rapacity awakened by the hope of spoil, and their ferocity 
increased by the view of that property, which violence alone could 
wrest from its original possessors. 

This stage of unprincipled warfare was dignified by a crowd of 
illustrious men, amongst whom Spencer and Raleigh are conspicuous; 
the latter commenced his extraordinary and ill-fated career in these 
scenes of butchery and carnage, and in almost the first action recorded 
of that young soldier his arms were sullied by the execution of a 
piece of deliberate cruelty, which called down the censure of his 
royal mistress on Lord Grey, and will ever remain a stain on the 
page of British history, notwithstanding Spencer's vindication or 
rather apology for such conduct. 

With the ground obtained from the native chieftains, who were 
literally hunted down for their possessions, the perpetrators of these 
atrocities were rewarded ; and on the accession of James I., Ireland 
laid ^ breathless, exhausted and peaceable, only because incapable 
any longer to raise the arm of war." 

The English settlers now became of advantage to the country 
which had been so long the field of contest and devastation, and 
during, the tranquillity produced by this exhaustion important and 


beneficial changes were effected: agriculture received attention, 
manufactures were introduced^ gloomy towers were replaced by com- 
fortable mansions, churches were built, and boundaries constructed. 

A wish to conciliate seems also to have existed amongst the English ; 
and Lord Baltimore, on his return from Ireland to the court of 
James I., is said to have replied to his Majesty's inquiry respecting 
the state of that kingdom, ^^ That the Irish were a wicked people^ 
but they had been as wickedly dealt withal/' 

Still the ancient fire of hatred towards the conquering nation 
burned in secrecy and silence, nourished by opposing religions, and 
deriving fresh vigour from this new cause. The fatal dissensions 
between Charles I. and his people awoke the Irish from their trance 
of allegiance. 

The history of this interesting period abounds with perplexity and 
misrepresentation : the most inhuman actions are. charged by each 
party against the other, but a dispassionate review of these revolu- 
tionary events as they now appear mellowed by time into truth, will 
place some sanguinary points in at least a doubtful shape. 

When the forgery of state commissions and other important docu- 
ments is acknowledged on all sides to be no unusual practice; when 
the solemnity of an oath was regarded a mere matter of convenience, 
or a form to serve some particular purpose, which might be absolved 
or abjured if necessary, and when the actors in these matters are 
viewed as animated by the irritation of party feuds and feeling, 
excited by political intrigue, and inflamed by religious rancour and 
bigotry, should we not pause and investigate every statement with 
the most scrutinizing strictness ? 

The conduct of the Irish generally has been severely stigmatized 
and condemned, too often by those unacquainted with the niceties 
of the case. A long catalogue of cold blooded murders naturally 
excites horror, but a series of provocations may rouse the tamest 
spirit to measures of revenge and desperation ; and it will be found 


that there are varioas and contradictory evidences which require 
investigation before an impartial opinion can be formed. 

^' That Ireland was never conqnered has been her pride^ but it 
has also been her misfortune ;" and I believe it will be found that 
her children have been alternately treated as allies, as rebels, or as 
slaves; perhaps it may be urged that they have conducted themselves 
as such; but have the measures of those who formerly governed 
them been unexceptionable, and has that faith, that honour, and that 
humanity been inviolably observed, which would call forth reciprocal 
virtues in a people whose traducers even have not denied their 
warmth of heart, and capability of ardent and devoted attachment ? 

The circumstances of Charles I/s reign contain many features of 
historical importance. It will be recollected amongst the charges 
most loudly urged against Lord Strafford was his arbitrary and rigorous 
administration in Ireland, regarding that island as a conquered 
country; a position received with acclaim by the English parliament, 
and tacidy acknowledged by Charles himself. 

The Irish shortly after took up arms and declared their indepen* 
dence, and were proclaimed traitors and rebels by the very same 
assembly for presuming to maintain the doctrine they had themselves 
first asserted ; nor is this monstrous inconsistency less remarkable for 
being slurred over and unnoticed by almost every historian. 

A few words on the numb^ and character of the parties in Ireland 
during the insurrection of 1641, emphatically termed by the natives, 
^^ the troubles,^' may not be misplaced, as it is necessary to consider 
them collectively to form an adequate idea of the confusion which 
must have prevailed, and as they are oftener found treated in 
detail with a tedious minuteness than brought under one general 

Charles had a small band of attached followers, headed by the 
Duke of Ormond, strugghng with difficulties, and suffering the 
severest checks and privations, yet still loyal and &ithful in an almost 

Ghaf.L hi&tory and national chabacteb^ ^ 

hopeless cause. Directly opposed to the Royalists were the Parlia- 
mentarians or Republicans, and midway between these were the Irish 
or Rebels, vindicating their independence and opposed to both, but 
more strongly to the latter : these were the three great parties, The 
subdivisions of the Irish are innumerable, and almost appear to be. 
" tot homines, tot animi/' The *^ mere Irish,'' or ancient Septs, had 
associated to throw off the dominion of England, and estabUsh a 
monarch of their own nation and reUgion. " The Lords of the Pale,'' 
or the descendants of the English long settled in the country, who 
had intermarried with the Irish, less violent than ^* the old Rebels,'* 
having already too much, sought more power ; of these again some 
were more temperate than others, and, though siding with the Inde- 
pendents, would have readily maintained the cause of Charles on 
certain, and not unreasonable terms ; more were compelled to take 
up arms in their own defence; and others, chiefly Scots and Northerns, 
were soldiers of fortune, and adventured their life in the speculative 
expectation of booty. These various factions were wrought on by 
the influence and promises of foreign courts, by the agency of papal 
missionaries, by the claims of kindred and the bond of feudal claun 
ship. Such were the materials out of which that heterogeneous mass 
called the Confederate Assembly was formed — each jealous and 
suspicious of the other — influenced by private dissensions and fearful 
of reposing confidence in their associates. 

Some of those who composed the league anticipated the result of 
this disunion. It is related that early in their proceedings one of the 
members who had seldom spoken stood up, and, after a profound 
silence and much expectation, gravely advised the meeting by all 
means to join with Cromwell and espouse his interest heartily, as the 
only expedient to ruin him ; and closed his ironical address by the 
deduction of former instances where the Irish defeated every cause 
in which they had embarked, and destroyed those joined with thenoi 
by their internal contention^* 



To perfect the knowledge of these discords and harmonies^ the 
terms *^ claims of kindred and bond of feudal clanship'' may require 
illustration. Amongst the ancient Irish there existed two laws, termed 
Tanistry and Gavelkind^ well adapted to an unciviUzed state of 
society, and therefore unfairly styled by Dr. Warner " absurd :'' by 
the first of these laws, possessions descended not according to birth- 
right but to the strongest and most skilful ; and by the other, women 
were excluded from any participation in the property of a deceased 
relative. These laws, amongst a barbarous people governed by ^' the 
strong hand,'' proceeded from the necessity of possessing leaders 
with superiQr power and courage, and the clan or dependents of 
each chief were bound together by a double tie called Fosterage and 
Gossipred — customs that still prevail and affinities that are still ac- 
knowledged in Ireland. 

The child of every chief was placed out as soon as bom, to be 
nursed by some of his dependents, and the connection of fosterage 
was thus formed between that child and those of his nurse, who were 
termed foster-brothers and sisters to the young lord, and the nurse's 
husband became the foster-father. Sir John Davies mentions that 
^^ fosterage was considered a stronger alUance than blood, and 
tiiat foster-children do love and are beloved of their foster-fathers 
and their septs more than of their natural parents and kindred." 
Campion also tells us, that '^ the Irish love and trust their foster- 
brethren more than their own," and examples Turlogh O'Neale. 
. The sponsors of the child became hkewise united in the relation- 
ship of gossip or godsips — a spiritual affinity acknowledged by the 
canon law. 

Such were the ties which cemented clans or factions into an 
almost indissoluble combination, it being the invariable custom for 
fosterers and gossips to support each other in all quarrels of what- 
ever nature. 

With the Confederate, assembly the Duke of Ormond temporized 


until the circumstances of Charles became desperate, when the Irish, 
with an indifference to the real merits of the question between the 
Sovereign and the subject, supported that unfortunate Monarch, 
because he was opposed by those whom they considered as their 
oppressors, and with a stipulating, yet careless, profligacy, ranged 
themselves under the royal banner, merging for a time their national 
views in a chaos of unaccountable contradictions. But the fierce 
and hasty strides of Cromwell awed the Irish spirit into submission; — 
his commands were decisive and effective, for his cannon were his 
arguments ; and the shattered castles to be seen in every direction 
are memorials of his astonishing progress, or, to use the canting 
language of the times, are ^^ evidences of the divine vengeance against 
such perfidious traitors as the Irish — whose name and nation might, 
with a little more time and treasure, have been utterly extirpated/' 

At the present day the common malediction in the mouth of 
every Irish peasant is, " the curse of Cromwell,^' being their strongest 
expression for entire ruin and desolation ; and minute circumstances, 
that occurred nearly two centuries since, are as fresh in popular 
recollection as the events of the preceding year. 

The contest between James and William is well known; — ^William 
was victorious because he imitated the rapidity of Cromwell ; his 
own declaration was, " that he did not come to Ireland to let the 
grass grow under his feet ;" — and by such cheering observations as 
" This is a country worth fighting for !'' — ^as well as his personal 
exertions, William inspired his troops with confidence and energy, 
while James, encircled by bigots, loitered over trivial and cere- 
monious details, and. was overtaken by the day of action. By his 
individual example William gave a superiority to his soldiers which 
his enemies felt and acknowledged. — ^* Change Monarchs with us 
and we would fight the battle over again,"' — were the emphatic 
words of one of James's most distinguished generals. 

The attainder and ruin of some of the ancient nobility followed 

c 2 


each coknmotion; — driven into exile, they became the miserable 
pensioners of foreign courts, and their confiscated estates were 
lavishly bestowed on English soldiers, from whom most of the present 
Irish families of distinction are descended. A nation, therefore, 
whose population is composed of two such distinct parts, requires 
ages and skilful treatment to become united and to feel a common 
interest : the one part drooping under the recollection of the loss of 
ancient wealth and honors, (for such was the feeling of clanship that 
the peasant identified with his own the fortunes of his lord,) — ^the 
other suspicious and unconciUating to those by whom they are sur^ 
rounded, and fearing the reprisal of what their ancestors had vio- 
lently seized. It was an observation of the illustrious Bishop 
Berkeley, when speaking of the two nations, that ^^ although evi- 
dently their mutual advantage to become one people, yet neith^ 
seemed apprized of this important truth/' 

The difierence of relative situation which the EngUsh and the 
Irish have so long held towards each other, the former as conquerors, 
the latter as the conquered, mutually affected their national cha- 
racter, and both felt proud of marking their dislike to the other on 
every occasion. 

" The one in fear to lose what they enjoy. 
The other to enjoy by rage and war.** 

When Castle More, the residence of Barrett, a chieftain of some 
consequence in the county Cork, was pointed out to O'Neil as that 
of a good Catholic whose ancestors had been settled in Ireland 
upwards of four hundred years, his reply was, " No matter, I hate 
the EngUsh churl as much as if he landed but yesterday V 

The present Irish character is a compound of strange and apparent 
inconsist^icies, where vices and virtues are so unhappily blended 
that it is difficult to distinguish or separate them. Hasty in forming 
opinions and projects, tardy in carrying them into effect, they are 


often relinquished before ^ey haye arrived at maturity, and are 
abandoned for others a3 vague and indefinite. An Irishman is the 
sport of his feeUngs ; with passions the most violent and sensitive, 
he is alternately the child of despondency or of levity ; his joy or 
his grief has no notedium; he loves or he hates, and hurried away by 
the ardent stream of a heated fancy, naturally enthusiastic, he is 
guilty of a thousand absurdities. These extremes of temperament 
Giraldus Cambrensis has correctly depicted when he says, " When 
they (the Irish) be bad, you shall no where meet with worse ; if they 
be good, you can hardly find better/' With a mind inexhaustible 
in expedient to defeat difficulties and act as a substitute for the con- 
veniencies of Ufe which poverty denies, the peasant is lively in intel- 
lect, ardent in disposition, and robust in frame; nor does he readily 
despond under disaster, or yield to obstruction ; but moves forward 
in his rugged course with elevated crest and a warm heart : with a 
love of combat and of inebriation, he is fond of excitement and 
amusement of any nature. 

The virtues pf patience, of prudence, and industry seldom are 
included in the composition of an Irishman : he projects gigantic 
schemes, but w;ants perseverance to realise any work pf magnitude : 
his conceptions are grand and vivid, but his execution is feeble and 
indolent : he is witty and imprudent, and will dissipate the hard 
earnings of to-day regardless of to-morrow : an appeal made to his 
heart is seldom unsuccessful, and he is generous with an uninquiring 
and profuse liberality. 

Such is an outiine of the Irish character, in which there is more 
to call forth a momentary tribute of admiration, than to create a 
fixed and steady esteem. When excitement is withdrawn, a state of 
suUenness and apathy succeeds, and hence an Irishman surrounded 
by difficulties and dangers, associated with strangers in a foreign 
land, is full of energy land expedient; but herding with his own 
^CQjmtrynien he no longer appears the same person, and were it not 


for the occasional flash of wit or invention elicited by some unexpected 
occurrence the casual spectator would pronounce him to be an essence 
of stupidity and perverseness — ^yet the strength of attachment to 
their native land is wonderfid, and in banishment or even emigra- 
tion there is an air of romance thrown around every recollection of 
the country where they have toiled for mere existence. 

In the secluded Irish mountaineer the nobleness of savage nature 
has merged into the dawn of civihzation, that without conferring one 
ray to cheer or ameliorate his condition, affords him imperfect 
glimpses of the superior happiness enjoyed by the inhabitants of 
other countries. 

When turbulent and disaffected men agitate such a body, it 
becomes difficult to tranquillize those who have only Ufe to lose, and 
every thing to gain. Continued and petty insurrections render this 
sufficiently obvious. It is not personal disUke to the British monarch, 
or political objections to the British constitution that have induced 
the Irish cottagers to appear in arms against both ; but the want of 
superiors to direct and encourage their labours, and to whom they 
might with confidence look up for support and protection. 

A Narrative in which some of the transactions of 1798 are detailed 
occupies many pages of this volume ; written at the time, it contains 
a faithful picture of the excesses committed by an intoxicated multi- 
tude, and the individual privations related in it will not appear singular 
or peculiarly severe to those who retain the painfiil recollection of 
the sanguinary events of that period. The Rebellion of 1798, how- 
ever, was neither a momentary effort nor an unpremeditated proceeding 
of the Irish people; it was the result of an organization of considerable 
standing, and two generations of the peasantry had been trained up 
to become actors in this event; 

As far back as the middle of the last century the peasantry entered 
into a secret association in the North of Ireland, under the name of 
" Heart of Oak Boys,'' at first professing to resist demands which 


they considered oppressive and unjust; and other associations soon 
sprung up in imitation of their example, as the ^^ Steel Boys/' 
*^ Defenders/' &c. In the South appeared the " White Boys/' so 
called from their practice of parading the country at night in white 
frocks, committing acts of violence and destruction on the persons 
and property of the opulent and well affected. The formation of 
these lawless parties was followed by the Rebellion of 1798^ which 
devastated large tracts and excited in all classes a temporary madness 
that rivals in detail of cruelty the horrors of the French Revolution, 
on which event the projectors seem to have modelled their plans, and 
founded their ^^pectations of success on that of America. 

The Political Creed of an " United Irishman'' is exhibited in a 
curious form of examination which took place in the Gaol of Wexford 
and is preserved in Jackson's Narrative. 

Question. Are you straight? 

Answer. I anu 

Question. How straight? 

Answ&r. As straight as a rush. 

Question. Go on then. 

Answer. In truth, in trust, in unity, and in liberty. 

Question. What have you in your hand ? 

Answer. A green bough. 

Question. Where did it first grow i 

Answer. In America. 

Question. Where did it bud i 

Answer. In France. 

Question. Where are you going to plant it i 

Answer. In the crown of Great Brit^. 

The associations of Caravat and Shanavest have since the Rebel- 
lion disturbed the Southern Counties. It would be difficult to 
discover tiie precise object which these wretched men had in view: 
The collection of arms appears to have been their principal aim ; 
and numerous instances might be mentioned of their refusal to posses^ 
themselves of other property when completely in their power. In 


the Central Counties, the Carders, On the contrary, (a name derived 
from their inhuman practice of inflicting punishment on the naked 
back with a wool-card,) were in a great measure inflamed by a desire 
to punish informers and those who took or let land at a high rent. 
Harassed by the unavoidable distresses of the times, and inflamed 
by " spokesmen" who had travelled in England in search of harvest 
work, had seen, and invidiously compared the comforts of the 
English husbandman with their own privations, the Irish labourer 
attributes his sufferings to a partial and oppressive government: 
" Worse nor I am I can't be'^ is the result of his reasoning on his 
present situation and future prospects. Various prophecies and 
mysterious bodings of the overthrow of the English dominion are 
also industriously circulated by secret agency throughout the country, 
that, with such causes, keep alive the embers of rebellion. 

During my last visit to the South of Ireland (1821) it was not 
diflicult to discover the lurking mischief which has since developed 
itself under the direction of the ideal Captain Rock — the modem 
representative of Captain Right, the Chief of the Whiteboys. Much 
distress is the natural consequence of such commotions, as those 
sources are neglected on which the population are dependent for 
subsistence ; and it is in vain to hope for produce where agriculture 
has not received attention, and where the labourer wields the sword 
instead of guiding the ploughshare. 

In 1780, the Patriots of Ireland, at once numerous and endowed 
with superior talents, supported by a volunteer army fifty thousand 
strong, demanded a free trade and a free constitution. Lord North 
was then Prime Minister of England, humiliated by the success of 
the Americans, and feeling that it would be imprudent to -resist 
claims, so well founded, so well advocated in the senate, and so loudly 
called for by an armed people, acquiesced in the wishes of the Irish 
nation ; obnoxious statutes were repealed, and the independence of the 
country, as far as was consistent ^vith the British connection^ acknow* 


ledged. Ireland, after shaking off the chains that so long had fettered 
her, stood for a time upright, and wore a happy and rather a com- 
manding aspect. It was supposed that she would become rich by 
commerce and well governed by her laws, and that such a season of 
prosperity would bloom over the land as should blot out the recol- 
lection of past miseries, and cause flowers to spring up where weeds 
and thorns flourished. These predictions were soon blasted, and 
her horizon became again overcast ; popular discontent again reared 
its head. The French Revolution encouraged faction to grow daring, 
and patriotism degenerated into rebellion, and rebellion was followed 
by the Union, which annihilated the constitution of 1780, took from 
Ireland her parliament, her nobles and her nominal independence ; 
and although it has been questioned whether it has conferred counter- 
vailing benefits, none can doubt that since the Union, England looks 
towards her with a more gracious aspect; many abuses also in the 
mode of legislation have been, removed ; and the measure having 
taken place it must be the wish of every honest mind that it will be 
made as beneficial to both as possible, and that the bonds of mutual 
interest and reciprocal justice, will cement the two countries. 



^ These high wild hills^ and roagh uneren ways. 
Draw out our miles, and make them wearisome : 
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar. 
Making the hard way sweet and dekctaible." 

The fashionable attractions of Paris, the beauty of the Swiss lakes, 
and the classic richness of Italy, are inducements of so strong a 
nature for an excursion of amusement, that patriotism alone can 
venture to recommend the Sister Isle to the tourist's notice. 

It must be acknowledged, when compared with other countries, 
that Ireland does not afford the same means of gratification; yet the 
singular character of the people, the romantic tales of their former 
greatness, contrasted with their present abject state, and the spirit of 
chivalry, which still survives amongst them, seldom fail, when aided 
by novelty of situation and incident, to create enthusiasm in a stranger; 
but the known difficulties of travelling, and wantof acconmiodation, 
are of themselves sufficient to prevent its selection for the perform^ 
ance of a mere tour of pleasure. 

The South of Ireland, to which the remarks in this volume are 
confined, contains many scenes that may with justice be termed 



picturesque and beautiful as well as stupendous and sublime. Al- 
though the immense tracts of barren or imperfectly cultivated coun- 
try, which spread in wearying extent and impress the mind with melan- 
choly ideas of neglect and dreary grandeur, are unfavourable to the 
pursuits of an artist, such tracts, by dividing the beauties, probably 
enhance the value of the scenery where it becomes closer and more 

The character of the coast is bold and steep, containing numerous 
bays and harbours formed by arms of land breasted by rocky cUfis, 
that proudly rebuff the angry waves which 

'' Boil and gnash their white teeth on the shore." 

Dean Swift, in a Latin poem entitled Carberiae Rupes, has left us at 
once a correct and poetical picture of the south-west coast of Ireland. 
The neighbourhood of the rivers Lee and Blackwater are highly 
cultivated, and afford the most favourable combinations of objects 
aad forms. Opposed to their delicious and woody banks, the wes- 
tern districts of the county Cork, and the entire of Kerry, are wild 
and mountainous; and the Galtees, an extensive range of many 
miles, stretch along the borders of the counties Limerick, Cork, 
Tipperary, and Waterford, conferring a dignity on the landscape, 
which level or unbroken ground cannot possess. The general out- 
line of these mountains is happily varied; though heavy and inele- 
gant shapes are by no means uncommon, yet they are seldom found 
alone, and rather improve than injure the effect of the sharp and 
irregular forms with which they are combined. 

** Dame Nature drew, these mountaynes in such sort. 
As though the one, should yeeld the other grace." 

Many of their glens and passes possess a subUme sterility that 
inspires feelings of awe and reverence. Masses of rock are heaped 
togjether in unprofitable barrenness^ clothed only with the humble 



lichen, and unyielding to vegetation, receive from year to year in vain 
the alternate changes of rain and sunshine. A stream, broken into 
several little falls, often foams along the centre of these rugged defiles, 
or tumbles precipitately over a steep crag with ceaseless plash. In 
some places, vast stones, rounded by the action of the atmosphere, 
hang in fantastic elevation as if ready to be rolled down with over- 
whelming crash upon the spectator beneath, and have been poeti- 
cally described in Irish song as the marbles that Time and Nature 
played with when they were young and the world in its infancy. 
Surrounded by some of the grandest of these mountains lies Kil- 

** Where woody glens in sweetness smile 
As Echo answers from their breast^ 
And lakes with many a fiiiry isle. 
That on a mirror seem to rest/' 

The beauties of this celebrated spot have been so often and so fully 
described as to render any thing I could say on the subject super- 
fluous. Although the noble expanse of water and the vast hills that 
tower in giant strength and pride excite general admiration, to me the 
great magic of Killamey has ever been its seclusion and retirement. 
The quietude of sequestered dells — still, glassy lakes-^and over- 
hanging woods dipping into the water, is unbroken; and the silent 
spirit of the place diffuses a profound tranquillity over the senses. 

The shore of Mucruss Lake is perhaps the most romantic. 
Worn by the action of the water into numerous grotesque caves, that 
repose beneath the leafy gloom of luxuriant trees, every irregularity 
out of which fancy has imaged forth a form is referred with a mar- 
vellous tale to O'Donoghue, and each object receives a local im- 
portance from antiquated legend. Nor should the less trodden shore 
of Glengarrifi^, about ten miles from Bantry, and seated at the head 
of that bay, remain unexplored by admirers of the ** magnificently 


rude" in nature, to whose attention it may be recommended without 
fear of disappointing their most sanguine expectation. 

It has been remarked by more thai;i one artist of eminence, as a 
comment on the Irish landscape, that the forms of the trees are more 
graceful and capricious than in England. " Your trees,"' said a 
gentleman to me, ^^ partake of your national character, wild and 
irregular they both assume extraordinary ramifications, that treated 
with justice by a master hand appear noble features, but of which an 
unskilful delineator produces only clumsy caricature." 

The oak of Ireland in particular has long been famous. — ^Popular 
tradition not only derives the cudgel of every Pat, or as it is figura- 
tively termed, his " sprig of Shillela," from woods of that name in 
the county Wicklow, but also the .roof of Westminster Hall^ and 
other buildings of the same age ; — ^the timbers which support the 
leads of the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, built in 1444, as 
well as the roof of Henry the Vllth's Chapel, in Westminster Abbey, 
are said to be of Irish oak ; and to these may be added the 
Wainscotted Chambers of the Royal Library at Paris, founded, in 
in 1365, by Charles V. An extensive purchase of the timber of 
Shillela was made in Charles the lid's time by the Dutch, to pile the 
ground on which the stadt-house is built ; and pipe staves were largely 
exported about that period from Dublin to London. 

So late as the close of the seventeenth century. Commissioners 
were sent over to Waterford and Wexford by the EngUsh govern- 
ment, " nigh which places, and in the county of Wickloe," Dean 
Story tells us, " there is good store of suitable timber and other 
advantages for building ships at easier rates than in England.'" 

Mr. Hayes, of Avondale, who has written a delightful little volume 
on Planting, cdntaining much information on the growth and 
value of Irish timber, observes, that the superior density and close- 
ness of grain, the character of the Irish oak, especially in high 
situations and a dry soil, (apparent from comparison of its specific 


gravity with that of other oak,) added to the inattention of the Irish 
respecting the article of bark, permitted the tree to be felled in 
winter when free from sap, which might have induced English 
architects to give it a preference in material works ; ^^ and it must 
be allowed/' adds Mr. Hayes, ^^ that the present unimpaired state of 
these roofs, after so many centuries, seems very well to warrant the 

Notwithstanding this former abundance of timber in Ireland, trees 
are at present the grand desideratum of its scenery; and the shat- 
tered tower and riven arch of " works of old defence'' are often 
seated in the midst of such unvaried bleakness, that they become 
worthless in the eye of a painter, as formal and unassociated objects 
— the general pictorial effect of the landscape is' however much 
assisted by the numerous ruins of abbeys and castles with which it 

To whom shall I dedicate my prints? once asked a publisher, 
about to produce some Irish views: — the reply was, If your dedica- 
tion is prompted by gratitude, I know of no one more deserving it 
than Oliver Cromwell, whose cannon has made so many dilapidated 
buildings for you. 

Although without the limits of the present work, some notice of 
the county Wicklow may be expected, its scenery having been so 
much extolled. Glendalough, Luggielau, and the more southern and 
remote parts, equal or exceed the descriptions. that have been given 
of their charms. — ^Aided by many tender associations which crowd 

upon the memory, my friend C thus elegantly unfolds thems 

whilst, with rapid but faithful outline, he delineates the prospect 
from the eminence of Broomfield overlooking Rossana, the seat of 
the Tighe family. 

^^ In the extreme distance ocean and sky mingle together, the 
gloom of the far promontory that breaks upon the sea-horizon, con- 
trasted with the gay town that smiles upon its side, and the fleet of 


fishiog smacks bent upon their evening cruize under its protection 
— ^then the line of hiUs rising beyond the wooded domain of Rossana, 
and the immense vale^ thirty miles in length, terminating in the 
Croaghan, or Gold Mine Mountain, relieved at intervals by some 
glittering spire or ambitious mansion that breaks the sameness and 
vastness of the view. Towards the west rears the Carrig Morilliah, 
or the beautiful rock, deservedly so called; its extended summit, 
which is a perfect sierraj and graceful descent to the vallies that 
separate it from the chain of mountains, in the midst of which it 
stands perfectly isolated, make one of the. most singular objects of 
the picturesque. From its summit as well as from Cronroe, which 
is beneath and of easier access, may be descried the enchanting 
Vale of Avoca, * the Meeting of the Waters,^ hallowed not only by 
having inspired the muse of Moore, but for having given to one of 
Ireland's noblest and most upright sons, the tide he so proudly 
merited — ^the early fiiend of Curran — ^Lord Avonmore. * 

" Below the rock of Cronroe is the sweet cottage of Mont Alta, 
where the unfortunate Trotter composed the life of his friend atid 
patron Charles James Fox. 

^^ And then to conclude this panoramic enthusiasm, the sun sets 
behind the most beautiful and most terrific of ravines — ^the Devil's 
Glen — a torrent breaks into it in cataract from the further extremity, 
continues its furious course under the walls of Glehmore Castle, and 
recovers its tranquillity in the silent shades of Rossana, where the 
fair minstrel of Psyche sung/' 

Powerscourt and the Dargle have certainly been overpraised, and 
a stranger conjures up in his own imagination very superior features 
to those of which they are composed. An excursion into the 
county Wicklow is generally made from Bray, a village on the sea- 
coast, ten miles distant from Dublin, where there is an excellent 
hotel, much frequented by lovers of suburban rustication. The 
Dargle is to Dublin what Richmond is to London — ^the resort of 


holiday folk; but here the similitude ends. It is a little woody 
dell, and in summer has an inconsiderable stream gurgling amongst 
rocks of a good colour, but without size sufficient to render them 
effective or impressive. The trees on the banks are small and 
stunted, growing very close and straight; and there are shady walks 
pleasant enough to stroll through with the expected reward of a 
basket of good prog, to be discussed at the far-famed Waterfall of 
Powerscourt, where a verdant carpet, equal to that of fair Twicken- 
ham's meadows, is improved by the shade of high rocks, under 
which the numerous parties busily commence their eating opera- 
tions. After a hasty glance around them, and a quickly dismissed 
ejaculation of " How beautiful V* they prepare to enjoy the water 
when it shall mix with their wine, and certainly feign no devotion 
but to the main object of their excursion. Such are those 

*' Who on jaunting cars travel to visit the Dargle, 
Oh! no — 'tis their throats with good liquor to gargle/' 

The Waterfall of Powerscourt has been enumerated amongst the 
wonders of Ireland, but the extravagant admiration lavished in 
Bushe's Hibernia Curiosa and other works, on " One of the most 
beautiful Waterfalls in Great Britain or Ireland, and, perhaps, the 
World," for so is Powerscourt styled, can only call forth a smile. 
On beholding it for the first time, I was forcibly reminded of some 
lines in which it is more correctly pourtrayed. 

'' Then thro' Powerscourt we went, to the high waterfall. 
And we saw it and thought — nothing of it at all, 
Down the black rock it tumbles like skeins of white thread. 
All fuzzy with spray from the foot to the head.'* 

This cascade is situated in a fine park belonging to Lord Powers- 
court, and may be described rather as a steep water-slide than a 
fall. Miss Nicholson's drawing will convey the most favourable 

7V*Mi>MiirA»r»^ #V«yftr 

CASCADE AT POWERS CO URT. scknery and travelling. 25 

idea of it, bding sketched immediately under the fall, which thus be- 
comes foreshbrtened, and is more pleasing than the unbroken effect 
• of its vast height in almost every other situation. It was with con- 
siderable difficulty this sketch was gained, as on attempting to reach 
the most picturesque point of view, we were prevented crossing the 
stream to the opposite bank, by a man stationed there to express the 
proprietor's orders, that no person should proceed farther. Having 
already passed about six gates, where we were detained until they 
were unlocked by the charm of a silver key, we thought the usual 
fee only was necessary, but this was refused ; by repeated entreaties 
and his native gallantry, the man at length allowed Miss Nicholson 
^ alone to proceed to the desired position. On our return we had 
again to pay at each gate before we were let out of the park ; and 
it would seem there must be a good sum of money distributed here 
during the summer, as we met more than twenty parties, all appa- 
rently receiving the same checks.* This locking of gates is however 
but little resorted to in Ireland, as, with the present exception and 
Lord Doneraile's Park at Doneraile, admission was everywhere 
cheerfully granted and a gratuity unlocked for ; but there is gene- 
rally an inquisitiveness to know who you are, and a stranger sketching 
is closely watched and followed, to ascertain the reason of his " taking 
off the place,'* as it is termed. Amongst the numerous ludicrous and 
amusing dialogues produced by this troublesome spirit, one which 
took place on crossing the River Blackwater in the public ferry-boat, 
may be cited as expressive of the shrewdness and pertinacity usually 
displayed in pursuit of this object. The boat was crowded with 

* Feeling inclined to ascribe such restraints tp a temporary cause — the expected visit 
of His Majesty to Powerscourt— it is not without regret that I remark a close resem- 
blance between those experienced by an anonymous tourist in 1809 and my own in 1821. 
'' We were denied access to the spot which probably conunands the best view of the fall, by 
an order forbidding any , person to pass the small wooden bridge across the river." — ** The 
delays and di£9culties we were obliged to encounter before we arrived at the much talked of 
waterfall, and the orders given not to allow strangers to pass the little wooden bridge 
near it when we had arrived there, made ns return much dissatisfied with our excursion.** 
... ■ E 


passengers, one of whom, an old woman, appeared inclined to enter 
into conversation with me, by offering several general remarks, to 
which I made no reply, when, turning round to her companion, she 
said in Irish that '^ in her opinion I was no stranger in the country, 
though I wore an English coat, for it was Uke one which young Mr. 
Odell had brought with him from London, and that she would soon 
find out if I had a drop of Irish blood in my veins/^ So far passed 
in Irish, of which the speaker supposed me ignorant She then 
fixed her eyes on me, and with a penetrative look commenced a story 
in English of a young Irishman ^* who went to foreign parts — ^to 
Newfoundland every step of the way, where he wished to be thought 
a Londoner, and held himself so high that he never would throw a 
word to one of his own people ; and in his endeavours to disguise 
his native accent, cut up the king's English till there was no -sub- 
stance at all left in it — to qualify it sure;'' and how '^ he was once 
met by one Mr. Jeremiah Coughlan, an undoubted gentleman ^ of 
the real ould stock,' who gave him, with the advice of never being 
ashamed of his own country, a sound drubbing." Here pointed 
the moral of her tale, a contrivance to rouse my patriotic feelings, 
and induce me to speak. The attempt was rendered still more 
vigorous, and the scene more comic, by the silent assistance of the 
remaining passengers, who appeared, as if by some tacit agreement, 
to have deputed the old crone to put me to the question, while they 
remained mute spectators of the event, only betraying their interest 
by a fixed gaze, and occasionally a mysterious and approving nod, 
when the discourse appeared to bear home upon me. 

Another subject of unceasing inquiry with the peasantry is the 
hour. It is generally allowed that those who make the least use of 
their time are most curious in time-keepers, and you never meet 
an idle peasant but his first question is — ^Would your honour be 
after telhng me what's o'clock? No reciprocal information can be 
gained until satisfaction on this point is given. — And one of my 
companions used frequently to amuse us by taking out his watch on scbneky and travelling. 37 

the approach of any person, and as soon as tfaey arrived within 
speaking distance, would proclaim — It is two o'clock — ^how far are 

we from ? This was, however, a joke to be avoided in cases 

of emergency, as we found it difficult, with our most engaging man* 
ners, sometimes to make our way. 

In the wild parts of Ireland the pictorial traveller will receive 
little assistance in his researches from the peasantry, and must rely 
on his own exertions and enterprize for the attainment of his object. 
Should he happen to have a slight knowledge of the Irish language, 
or can get the names of places translated (o him, they will often 
convey a clearer and more correct idea of the spot than can be ex- 
torted by dint of cross-examination — " Conveniunt rebus Nomina 
saepe suis.^' 

Sometimes our united efforts to extort information met with no 
better success than the following dialogue : — 

" Pray is this the nearest road to T' 

" Is it to you are going? fait and that's not the nearest road 

— being 'tis no road at all/' 

" Then had I better go yon way ?" 

^^ Ochl indeed and I would'nt advise your going that way at all^ 
'Tis few people goes that way, for there's a big black dog there, and 
he'll ate you up entirely," 

" Which way then can I go ?" 

" Fait I and the best way you'd go is just to be staying where you 

The lower classes are generally unwilling to serve as guides in the 
wild parts of the country, declining the offers made them for such 
service with all that indifference and quiet humour which Miss 
Edgeworth so admirably delineates ; and the difficulty of obtaining 
assistance appears to increase in proportion with the necessity of the 

" Och ! I'd have no objection in life to go wid your honour if 



supposing I could just laoe my troat at homcj' is no uncommon reply 
to your request, and is intended to express a doubt as to the 
safety of the expedition ; which, considering the period of this visit 
being that immediately preceding the late disturbances, may be rea« 
dily supposed to have some foundation ; but in vain you seek to 
learn the cause or extent of their fears, or, in short, to dive below 
the surface of their thoughts. 

" Do you then fear any danger?" 

*^ Och ! indeed, no particular danger, your hbnours — only 'tis an 
ugly way that way, any way Tm thinking — but your honours knows 
best to be sure if yeve bisness there — I'm just cantint to stay in a 
whole skin — ^and there's ould Judy, your honours, and the childer 
all looking up to me, and small blame to them — sure its much pace 
I should get wid them in regard of risking their bread, not to men- 
tion my own, and maybe I'd be laving my bones to whiten out 
yonder. Och ! its out of the way entirely." 

It is not easy to detect the real degree of fear here expressed from 
the evident exaggeration ; yet it would appear there must be some 
strong motive to deter these very poor people from earning a sum so 
easily, something more powerful than the want of taste for exploring 
— though it is certain they are, to use their own expression, " con-' 
tint 9*' without much exertion. Nothing can be more difficult than 
to obtain information in point of road, distance, or situation of any 
object. You seldom arrive within five miles of the truth. When 
crossing the mountains from Gougaun Lake to Inchegeela, I was 
told that village was ." worse" (more) than three miles from me. 
After walking about an hour and a half I again inquired — ^* it was 
worse than four miles." The actual distance was about ten. The 
contradictory answers you get as you proceed are not a little an- 
noying, and at times made us almost hopeless. One of my party, 
more from curiosity than the prospect of gaining a satisfactory reply, 
accosted a man respecting the length of a glen from a road on which 


we met him, and where we had reason to believe were some fine 

" How far is it lip yonder glen before you come to the waterfalls?*' 

" The waterfalls is it? indeed, and its a cross way, and your lady- 
ship would never be getting there.'' 

" We heard they were within half-a-mile." 

" Och ! they are not — and no road.'' 

" Is there a great fall of water?" 

" I never was there myself, but I know 'tis a great way." 

" Is it three miles ?" 

" Fait! and three miles would see you but a small part of the way." 

" Is it six miles, do you think ?" 

" Och! 'tis up entirely !" 

This up entirely, or out of the way entirely, is the conclusion at 
which you arrive ; it seems to imply beyond reach or knowledge, and 
is frequently used instead of " I don't knowj* to which the Irish cot- 
tager has a peculiar aversion, perhaps from the phrase being applied 
as a term of reproach to any stupid or simple person, coupling it 
with the Christian name, as Shane Neather, literally John I don't 
know, implies John the Fool. 

The higher classes in Ireland are ever willing to entertain the tra- 
veller and assist in the advancement of his journey, when he has 
clearly proved it absolutely necessary to. proceed^ for it is not a matter 
of question how to get admittance to the first houses in the country, 
the dilemma is, how to leave them. To a tourist, with sufficient time 
at his disposal, this may be agreeable enough ; if otherwise circum* 
stanced, he will find it requisite to avoid the delivery of letters of 
recommendation; for however gratifying a warm and hospitable re- 
ception may be, the sacrifice of time to be made in return is beyond 
all calculation. The over-abundant kindness of the host (for an im- 
mediate invitation always follows an introduction) seldom permits his 
guest the free use of his own senses, and to expostulate is vain. If, 


Dr. Syntax like, he travels with a sketch-book, and states himself in 
search of the picturesque, he is hurried from one eminence to ano^ 
ther, and assured it affords the best view in the country, as extent 
and beauty, when applied to the landscape, are generally con- 
founded. A party is arranged to meet him at dinner, each of whom 
requests a visit ; one assures him that a most celebrated castle is on 
his grounds, while another urges the charms of a glen near his resi- 
dence in a tone it is impossible to refuse. After a journey of some 
miles and the loss of an entire morning, this renowned castle may 
prove but the naked walls of an old tower, dismantled of even its ivy 
garb, and the " charming glen" perhaps turns out to be neither more 
nor less than the best fox earth in the country. Thus the circle of 
acquaintances caused by a single introduction, every one leading to 
others, goes on increasing Uke the circles produced by a stone when 
flung into the water. 

Letters, however, are needless in obtaining all tlie attention and 
assistance requisite ; a respectable appearance is a sufficient recom- 
mendation to the nobiUty and gentry, but towards the cottagers a 
certain courteousness of approach must be observed, ere you can 
f win them to usefulness. If you seek information, the tone of inter- 
)j1 ^ rogation must be^conciliatory^npt ^ictatorial ; if shelter or protec- 
^) \ tion, throw yourself aJL.oncej )n th eir hospitaUty and you secure a 
j warm and welconie^reception. 

The most romantic parts of Ireland are little frequented and tra- 
vellers unlocked for, heiice it becomes necessary to study the art of 
pleasing, which is in this case more valuable than ^^ house and land.'' 
The poorest peasant will freely offer to share his cabin and divide his 
' potatoes with you, though at the same time eying you very suspi- 
ciously, inasmuch as, being unable to account for your appearance^ 
he usually supposes you belong either to the army or to the excise 
— two bodies equally disliked by them. Yet their greatest fears 
never destroy the national spirit of hospitality. 


Having hired a car at Lismore to take us to Fermoj, and wishing 
to walk part of the way along the banks of the Blackwater, we desired 
the driver to meet us at a given point. On arriving there, the man 
pretended not to have understood we were three in party, and de- 
manded, in consequence, an exorbitant addition to the sum agreed 
on. Although we were without any other means of conveyance for 
eight Irish miles, it was resolved not to submit to this imposition, 
and we accordingly withdrew our luggage and dismissed the car, 
intending to seek another amongst a few cabins that appeared at a 
Uttle distance from the road side. A high dispute ensued with the 
driver, who, of course, was incensed at this proceeding, and endea- 
voured to enlist in his cause the few straggling peasants that had 
collected around us, but having taken refuge and placed our trunks 
in the nearest cabin, ourselves and property became sacred, and the 
disposition to hostility which had been at first partially expressed, 
gradually died away. — When we began to make inquiries for a horse 
and car of any kind to take us into Fermoy, our endeavours were 
for some time fruitless. One person had a car, but no horse. Ano- 
ther a car building j which, if Demiot Leary were as good as his word, 
would be finished next week some time, " God willing.'' At length 
we gained intelligence of a horse that was *' only two miles off, 
drawing turf. Sure he could be fetched in less than no time.'' But 
then again, " that big car of Thady Connor's was too great a load for 
him entirely. Sure the baste would never draw the car into Fermoy, 
let alone their honours and the trunks." After some fuither consul- 
tation, a car was discovered more adapted to the capabilities of the 
miserable animal thus called upon to *' leave work and carry wood," 
and though of the commonest kind we were glad to secure it. By 
means of our trunks and some straw we formed a kind of lodgment 
on the car, which being without springs and on the worst possible of 
roads, was not exactly a bed of down. The severe contusions we 
received on precipitating into the numerous cavities, though no joke. 



Chap. II. 

caused some laughter, on which the driver turned round with a most 
facetious expression of countenance, suggesting that ** May be the 
motion did not just agree with the lady, but never fear, she would 
soon get used to it, and be asleep before we were half-way to 
Fermoy/' This prediction, it will readily be supposed, was not ful- 
filled, and I believe it was three days before we recovered from the 
bruises of that journey. It is difficult to say whether our situation 
will excite mirth or sympathy in the minds of our readers, but a 
sketch may do no injury to the description. 

Many Irish villages boast a post-chaise, the horses for which are 
not unfrequently taken from the plough, and the chaise itself sub- 
mitted to a temporary repair before starting, to render it, if the 
parody of a nautical phrase may be allowed, road-worthy ; but the 
defects are never thought of one moment before the chaise is re- scenery and travelling. 33 

quired; and the miseries of posting in Ireland have,. with justice, 
£^orded subject for the caricaturist. Tired horses or a break-down 
are treated by a driver, whose appearance is the very, reverse of the 
smart jockey-like costume of an English postiUon, with the utmost 
resignation, as matters of unavoidable necessity. With a slouched 
hat — slovenly shoes and stockings — and a long, loose great coat 
wrapped round him, he sits upon a bar in front of the carriage and 
urges on his horses by repeated apphcations of the whip, accompa- 
nied with the most singular speeches, and varied by an involuntary 
burst of his musical talent, whistling a tune adapted to the melan- 
choly pace of the fatigued animals, as he walks slowly beside them 
up the ascent of every hill. 

" Did you give the horses a feed of oats at the village where we 
stopped to sketch?"' inquired one of my fellow-travellers of the 
driver, who for the last three or four miles had with much exertion 
urged on the jaded hacks. 

" I did not, your honour,'' was his reply, " but sure and they know 
I promised them a good one at Limerick." 

Nor is this instance of pretended understanding between man and 
horse singular. Riding once in company with a poor farmer from 
Cork to Mallow, I advised him to quicken the pace of his steed as 
the evening was closing in, and the lurid appearance of the sky 
foreboded a storm. 

" Sure then that I would with the greatest pleasure in life for the 
honour I have out of your company, sir; but I promised the baste to 
let him walk, and I never would belie myself to any one, much less to 
a poor creature that canies me — for, says the baste to me, I'm tired, 
9s good right I have, and I'll not go a step faster — ^and vou won't 
make me Iscornit, says I, j o^ take your own w ay/' / / 

A verbatim dialogue on an Irish break-down happily cniaracterises 
that accident : the scene, a bleak mountain^ and the time, the return 


of the driver with another chaise from the nearest station which 
afforded one — seven miles distant. 

" Is the carriage you have brought us safe ?" 

(One of the travellers attempts to get in.) 

^^ Oh never fear, sir ; wait till I just bail out the water and put a 
little sop of hay in the bottom — and sure now and 'tis a queer 
thing that the ould black chaise should play such a trick, and it has 
gone this road eleven years and never broke down afore. But no 
wonder, poor cratuvy the turnpike people get money enough for 
mending the roads, and bad luck to the bit of it they mend, but put 
it all in their pockets.'' 

« What, the road,?" 

" 'Noey your honour, the money." 

To such as can bear with composure and indifference lesser and 
temporary misfortunes, those attendant on an Irish tour become 
objects of merriment i the very essence of the innate ingenuity and 
wit of the people is called out by such evils; and the customary 
benediction muttered by the peasant on meeting a traveller, is changed 
into the whimsical remark or shrewd reply that mock anticipation* 

Of late, jingles, as they are termed, have been established between 
the principal towns. These are carriages on easy springs, calculated 
to contain six or eight persons. The roof is supported by a slight 
iron frame capable of being unfixed in fine weather, and the curtains, 
which may be opened and closed at will, afford complete protection 
from sun and rain ; their rate of travelling is nearly the same as that 
of the stage-coach, and they are both a cheaper and more agreeable 

On our way from Cork to Youghall in one of these machines^ we 
were followed by a poor wretch ejaculating the most dreadful oaths 
and imprecations in Irish. His head was of an uncommonly large and 
stupid shape, and his idiotic countenance was rendered fierce and wild scenery and travelling. 35 

by a long and bushy red beard. On our driver giving him a piece 
of bread, for which he had run beside the jingle at least half-a-mile, 
he uttered three or four terrific screams, accompanied by some antic 
and spiteful gestures. I should not remark this circumstance here 
were it one of less frequent occurrence ; but on most of the public 
roads in the South of Ireland, fools and idiots (melancholy spectacles 
of humanity !) are permitted to wander at large, and in consequence 
of this freedom have acquired vicious habits, to the annoyance of 
every passenger ; throwing stones, which they do with great dexterity, 
is amongst the most dangerous of their practices ; and a case is known 
to me where the wife of a respectable farmer, having been struck on 
the temple by a stone thrown at her by an idiot, died a few days 
after. Within my recollection, Cove Lane, one of the most fre- 
quented parts of Cork, as leading to the Cove, Passage, Carrigaline and 
Monkstown roads, was the station of one of these idiots, who seldom 
allowed an unprotected woman to pass without following her and 
inflicting the most severe pinches on her back and arms ; yet this 
unfortunate and mischievous being for many years was suffered by 
the civil power to remain the terror of every female, and that too 
within view of a public asylum for the reception of such. But to 
return from this digression. 

The charges at inferior towns and villages are extravagant in an 
inverse proportion to the indifference of their accommodation, and 
generally exceed those of the first hotels in the metropolis. Our bill 
at Kilmallock was any thing but moderate, and yet the house, though 
the best the town afforded, appeared to be one where carmen were 
oftener lodged than gentry. The landlady stood at the door, and 
with a low curtsey and a good-humoured smile welcomed us to 
** the ancient city of Kilmallock f in the same breath informed us 
that she was a gentlewoman bom and bred, and that she had a son, 
" as fine an officer as ever you could set eyes on in a day's walk, 
who was a patriarch (a patriot) in South America /' then leading us 



up a dark and narrow staircase to the apartment we were to occupy, 
wished to know our names and business, whence we came and where 
we were going ; but left the room on our inquiring, in the first place, 
what we could have to eat. After waiting a reasonable time, our 
demands were attended to by a barefooted female, who to our 
anxiety respecting what we could have for supper, replied with 
perfect confidence, " Just any thing you like, sure !'' 

" Have you any thing in the house ?" 

" Indeed and we have not, but it's likely I might be able to get 
an egg for ye.'' ^ 

An examination of the bedrooms will not prove more satisfactory ; 
a glass or soap are luxuries seldom found. Sometimes one coarse 
and very small towel is provided ; at Kilmallock the measurement 
of mine was half-a-yard in length and a quarter in breadth ; its com- 
plexion, too, evinced that it had assisted in the partial ablutions of 
many unfastidious persons. Mr. Arthur Young's constant ejacula- 
tion when he lighted on such quarters in Ireland usually occurred to 
my mind, " Preserve me. Fate, from such another !" and I have no 
doubt he would agree with me that two very essential requisites in 
an Irish tour are, a stock of linen, and a tolerable partiahty for 
bacon. But travellers, any more than beggars, cannot always be 
chusers, and those who will not submit with patience to the accidents 
and inconveniences of a journey must sit at home and read the road 
that others travel. 

** Who alwaies walkes, on carpet soft and gay, 
Knowes not hard hills, nor likes the mountame way.'' 


















■ ^ 








.'' Then, tell us, shall your city call us Lord, 
Iq that hehalf which we have challeng*d it ? 
Or shall we give the signal to our rage. 
And stalk in hlood to our possession ? 

Citixin. In brief, we are the King of England's subjects ; 
For him and in his right we hold this town. 

K, John, Acknowledge then the king, and let me in. 

Citizen, That can we not : but he that proves the king. 
To him will we prove loyal : till that time 
Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world !*' 

King John, 

In the revolutions of five centuries, the hardy chivalry of Wales, the 
sternness of a republican army, and the troops of a victorious 
monarch, have successively appeared before the walls of Limerick. 
In that city, Ireton and Tyrconnd, two distinguished characters, 
perhaps the most opposite in British history, both terminated their 
mortal career ; nor, added to these military and political events, will 
it be found altogether destitute of literary recollections, as, in the last 
siege it sustained. Story, the historian of that period, was actively 
engaged, and Rapin, the historian of England, was severely 

38 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

Situated on the noble River Shannon, thence enjoying maritime 
freedom and support, and with tracts of wild and rugged country 
on the North and West, that afforded a secure retreat to the conquered. 
Limerick was a position naturally wrested with difficulty from the 
Irish, and, when gained, was held by the captors with watchfulness 
and uncertainty. Like Cork, and the most noted sea-ports of Ireland, 
it was a Danish settlement in the ninth and tenth centuries, until 
recovered by Donald O'Brien, an active and powerful chieftain, who 
assumed the style and dignity of King of Lumneach, (as it is written) 
or North Munster — contrasted to Desmond, or South Munster, Mac 
Carthy the king of which was the first Irish prince that swore fealty to 
Henry II. Donald O'Brien followed his example, but only held 
his vow of allegiance sacred until the departure of the English Mo- 
narch ; when, availing himself of the unsettled state of the country 
and the private jealousies which existed between the original leaders 
of the invasion, he suddenly declared his independence, and having 
surprised, defeated a detachment of the English troops that had 
marched against him. This defeat caused such a panic in the main 
body, commanded by Hervey de Montmorries, that they retreated 
precipitately to Waterford, and it seemed to be the signal for war- 
fare and revolt to the Irish. The Earl Strongbow, under whose 
direction the affairs of the recently obtained country had been 
placed, acted on the defensive only, and found it necessary to recall 
to his assistance Raymond le Gros, the former favourite and suc- 
<:es8ful general of the English adventurers, by the promise of the 
hand of his sister in marriage, which had been before refused him, 
and was the cause of his retiring into Wales. 

Raymond returned with a small reinforcement, but his personal 
appearance, rather than the number of his troops, restored confidence 
to the dispirited soldiers of Strongbow; and scarcely were his nuptials 
celebrated, when the bridegroom marched against the Irish enemy. 
Intimidated by his former success, present rapidity and self-con- 

Chap- III. LIMERICK. 39 

fidence, little resistance was made by the Irish to the progress of 
Raymond, and he appeared before Limerick at the head of six hun- 
dred chosen men. The river by which the city was surrounded was 
broad and rapid in the point of attack selected. Two knights 
succeeded in fording it, but one of them, in his return to lead over 
his associates in this enterprize, was swept away by the force of the 
current and drowned : another made good his passage ; but the 
inajority hesitated at the great danger, when Raymond, plunging 
into the water, was instantly followed to a man, and Limerick 
surrendered without resistance. 

The death of Strongbow, however, of which Raymond was informed 
by an enigmatical letter from his wife, rendered it necessary for him 
to withdraw his forces from the post he had so lately gained, as their 
presence was required in other parts of the kingdom; and having no 
alternative, he formally committed the city to O'Brien to hold for the 
King of England ; informing him that, having by submission become 
a subject of England, the king fully confided in the fidelity and zeal 
with which he would perform the trust reposed in him. But no 
sooner had Raymond evacuated Limerick, than it was set on fire in 
four places by order of O'Brien, with the declaration that it should 
no longer be a nest to harbour strangers. Leland adds, when this 
transaction was reported to Henry II., as prejudicial to Raymond, 
that prince generously remarked — " the first gaining of Limerick 
was a noble exploit, the recovery of it still nobler, but the only act 
of wisdom was the abandoning this conquest.'' 

Until the death of Donald O'Brien, in 1194, the English cannot be 
said to have regained Limerick, as the possession was obstinately 
disputed by the Irish, who again secured their triumph by reducing 
the city to ashes. With the faithless and untractable O'Brien this 
mode of ruinous warfare terminated; and Ferrar, in his Civic History, 
tells us, a3 a proof of the importance of Limerick^that King Richard, 


in the ninth year, of his reign, granted it a charter to elect a mayor : 
an honour, which London did not obtain until ten years ailer, and 
Dublin not before the year 1318. 

King John, who came to Ireland in 1210, is said to have visited 
Limerick; and, as memorials of his visit, caused the present Thomond 
Bridge, and a castle still distinguished by his name, to be erected; 
both of these buildings appear conspicuously in Mr. Nicholson's view 
of the place; the former is perfectly level, and, although exceedingly 
narrow, an admirable piece of masonry, having withstood without 
much injury the rapid current of the Shannon above six hundred 

'* an auncient bridge of stone, 

A goodly worke, when first it reared was, 
(And yet the Shiere can shewe no such a one) 
Makes men to know, old buildings were not base.^' 

The confusion of parties and the distracted state of Ireland 
during the reign of Charles I. has been already noticed. 

On the breaking out of these disturbances. Captain Courtney 
headed the adherents of Charles in Limerick, not amounting to more 
than two hundred, and though short of ammunition and provisions, 
maintained the castle for several days, trusting to suppUes by water 
from Sir Henry StradUng, and that Sir WilHam St. Leger, the Lord 
President of Munster, would be enabled to raise the siege. But Sir 
William, depressed by the neglect which the emergencies of Charles 
rendered unavoidable, and exhausted by his ineffectual devotion and 
personal exertions in the cause of his monarch, became a victim to 
them, surviving only to hear that the gallant Captain Courtney had 
been compelled to surrender Limerick, after defending his post 
until it was no longer tenable. Lord Muskerry, Garret Barry, and 
other leaders of the Irish, immediately took possession of the town; 
a capture of much benefit to their cause, as they obtained by it some 

Chap. III. LIMERICK. 41 

cannon, one of which was a thirty-two pounder, that terrified all the 
castles of the county Limerick into immediate submission, with the 
exception of Askeaton, which was however soon reduced. 

In August, 1646, the Irish having stipulated for a treaty with the 
Marquess Ormond, it was agreed that hostilities should be mutually 
suspended, and Dr. Roberts, the Ulster King of Arms, was sent to 
the principal towns to proclaim the peace ; he arrived at Limerick 
on the 20th of the same month, but his appearance tended only to 
excite opposition and outrage. When Dr. Roberts reached the 
market cross, attended by the mayor and aldermen of the city, 
for the purpose of reading the proclamation, a vast mob was 
assembled and a serious riot ensued. Burke the mayor was trodden 
under foot, and severely wounded; and Dr. Roberts, having received 
several dangerous cuts, narrowly escaped with his life. These dis- 
orderly proceedings, which are ascribed to the religious intrigues of 
Rinuncini, the papal nuncio, were followed by the deposition and 
imprisonment of the mayor, whose office was bestowed on Dominick 
Fanning, the leader of the rioters. 

Lord Ormond, however, considering the possession of Limerick to 
be of the utmost consequence, endeavoured by various means to 
become master of it; but although professing amity to Charles, the 
confederate Irish, over whom the nuncio, and his party had now 
obtained complete influence, flushed by their momentary superiority, 
and regardless of fixture consequences, conducted themselves with 
insolence and intemperance towards Lord Ormond, meanly doubting 
and idly hesitating at all offers made by that nobleman, whom they 
insulted by mock conferences and vexatious quibbles, whilst they 
openly set his and all other authority at defiance. All endeavours 
made by Ormond, whether to command or to concihate, were equally 
vain. The mandate of a single friar was sufiicient with the soldiery 
to counteract the orders of their leader, and the most trivial. 

42 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

occurrence became a pretext for popular tumult, which the magis* 
tracy rather encouraged than suppressed. 

Wearied by such obstinate conduct, and unable longer even to 
temporize with the garrison of Limerick, Lord Ormond embarked 
at Galway for France, and the small body of Royalists which he had 
headed, merged into the Irish ranks and became sharers in the 
defence of Limerick, against the Parliamentary army. 

Sir Hardress Waller had already threatened it, but early in 1651, 
Ireton appeared before the city, which he closely besieged for six 
months, and exerted all his energies to gain. 

The victory obtained by Lord Broghill over the forces of Lord 
Muskerry, who had marched towards Limerick with a view of 
relieving it, (of which action a more particular notice will be found 
in a subsequent paper,) hastened its surrender, and added to this 
discouraging event, a contagious fever raged within the walls, to the 
violence of which many had fallen victims. Contrary to the calcula- 
tion and advice of O'Neil, the governor, who had before so bravely 
defended Clonmell against the troops of Cromwell, and the threat of 
excommunication uttered by the Bishops of Limerick and £mly, a 
treaty was determined on, but, says Leland, *' in the hour of terror 
and danger, their spiritual authority was utterly disregarded.'' 

Colonel Fennel, who early in these transactions was reputed to 
have betrayed the pass of Killaloe to Ireton, thus affording a safe 
and easy communication with the county Clare, and the western 
parts of Ireland, having obtained from the mayor the keys of the 
city, seized John's Tower, and refused to obey the directions of the 
governor. In this treacherous conduct he was supported by the 
mayor, who furnished him with powder, when, turning the cannon 
on the town, and having admitted two hundred of Ireton's soldiers. 
Colonel Fennel declared that he would not quit his post, until the 
ga:rrison surrendered. An hopeless option only remaining, articles 

Chap. III. LIMERICK. 43 

were signed on the 27th October, 1651, granting to the inhabitants 
their lives and property, with the exception by name of twenty of 
the most prominent characters, most of whom had been the active 
opponents of Ormond. 

Of these, O'Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick, who marched out in the 
disguise of a soldier amongst the troops, and O'Neil, the governor, 
escaped execution. The latter, who had exasperated the Republicans 
by the spirit he had formerly evinced, fearlessly met Ireton at the 
city gates, and pointed out to him sufficient ammunition and pro- 
visions to have lasted three months longer, at the same time adverting 
severely on the treacherous proceeding of Colonel FennelL Ireton 
caused O'Neil to be tried by a court-martial, which sentenced him 
to death ; but, on a remonstrance founded on some informality, he 
was again tried, and his life saved by the majority of a single voice. 

Of O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, Dr. Bourke gives the following 
account in the " Hibernia Dominicana.^' 

" He was so active in persuading the Irish to hold out against 
CromwelFs forces that Ireton, during the siege of Limerick, offered 
him forty thousand pounds to desist from his exhortations and quit 
the city, with a passport to any other kingdom. This offer he refused 
heroically ; in consequence of which he was exempted from pardon, 
tried, and condemned to be hanged and beheaded; he bore the 
sentence with resignation, and behaved to his last moments with 
manly fortitude. He addressed Ireton with a prophetic spirit, 
accusing him of the highest injustice, threatening him with life for 
life, and summoning him to the Tiibunal of God in a few days. 
Ireton caught the plague in eight days, and died soon after, (26th 
November, 1651,) raging and raving of this unfortunate prelate, 
whose unjust condemnation he imagined hurried on his death.'' 

In 1690 Limerick again received the Irish forces, as they may be 
more justly termed than those of James, who had abandoned them. 



After the defeat which that monarch experienced at the Boyne, 
the remains of his army, under the Duke of Berwick, Colonel Sars- 
field, and Boislieu, the French general, retreated to Limerick as 
their last resource, and its defence was entrusted to the latter officer. 
When King William (who in person appeared before the walls) 
summoned it to surrender, the governor made the following memo- 
rable reply in a letter to Sir Robert Southwell, Secretary of State ; 
" not sending directly to the king," says Story, " because he would 
avoid giving him the title of Majesty ;'' that he was surprised at the 
demand, and thought the best way to gain the Prince of Oranges 
good opinion was by a vigorous defence of the town for his master 
King James. 

Some delay taking place in the arrival of the artillery to commence 
the siege. Colonel Sarsfield made a secret and rapid sally from 
Limerick with five hundred dragoons, crossing the Shannon at Kil- 
laloe ; and succeeded, by his knowledge of the country, in surprising 
and capturing the ammunition-waggons and cannon, which latter 
he filled with powder, and placing their mouths in the ground fired 
a train that burst them with a terrific explosion, and announced their 
destruction to a party under Sir John Lanier, who had been sent to 
protect them. • Nor was the bravery displayed in the enterprize less 
conspicuous than the skill with which Sarsfield effected his retreat 
Avithout coming to an action, notwithstanding the efforts made to 
intercept him. 

This event threw a severe damp on the confidence of the besiegers, 
whom it compelled to suspend the vigour of their operations for a 
week, until the arrival of another supply of ordnance from Waterford, 
and had at the same time the effect of inspiring the besieged with 
fresh spirit. 

During the siege, William persevered in his wonted activity and 
example of personal exposure, having several narrow escapes from 
the enemy's shot. 

Chap. III. LIMERICK. 45 

A breach about twelve yards in length near John's Gate being 
eflfected on the 27th August, orders were issued for the assault. At 
a given signal five hundred grenadiers ran towards the counterscarp^ 
"firing their pieces, throwing their grenades/' and were fiercely 
opposed by the Irish ; " so that in less than two minutes the noise 
was so terrible that one would have thought the very skies ready to 
rent in siihder/' " This was seconded with dust, smoke, and all 
the terrors that the art of man could invent to.ruine and undo one 
another ; and to make it the more uneasie, the day itself was exces- 
sively hot to the bystanders, and much more sure in all respects to 
those in action/' 

The Irish retreating before the storming party, their ardour hur- 
ried them on into the town, whilst the regiments ordered to support 
them stopped short at the counterscarp, and they who led the attack 
were all either killed or wounded. The defenders, having ralhed, 
returned with renewed and desperate valour to the breach, the 
women even mingling in their ranks, and sharing in the fight ; and, 
after three hours uninterrupted firing, " insomuch that the smoke 
that went from the town reached in one continued cloud to the top 
of a mountain at least six miles oflF,'' the besiegers were forced to 
retire to their trenches, having expended all their ammunition. Some 
powder taking fire in a small work called the Black Battery, that 
had been seized by the Brandenburgh Regiment, most of these soldiers 
were blown into the air. A truce demanded by King William the 
next morning, for burying the dead, was refused; and, notwith- 
standing he offered the Irish favourable terms, to which Lord Tyr- 
connell was willing to accede, Boislieu, the governor, determined 
to hold out to the last, justly regarding, although the cause of James 
was desperate, the capitulation of Limerick to be fatal to it. 

Dean Story has left us an animated account of the siege, and in 
some measure relieved its horrors by the occasional quaintness 
of his style. " I remember,'' writes he, " we were all as well 

46 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

pleased to see the town flaming as could be^ which made me reflect 
upon our profession of soldiery not to be overcharged with good* 

The unsettled state of public afiairs in England requiring William^s 
personal attention, he embarked for that country immediately after 
this severe repulse at Limerick, and that garrison became the refuge 
of all the smaller ones which successively surrendered to his troops. 

Early in the year I69I, St. Ruth, a meritorious but arrogant 
officer, arrived from France to replace Boislieu, with a small sum 
of money, and the promise of extensive succours ; and Tyrconnell, 
the former agent of despotism and bigotry, also returned from the 
same country, with inconsiderable supplies, accompanied by Sir 
Richard Nagle and Sir Stephen Rice. Dissension and intrigue 
arose between the French and Irish leaders (military as well as civil), 
and the contagion was communicated to those under their controul. 
The French reproached the Irish with their treachery, meanness and 
barbarous condition ; and the Irish retorted on the French foppish- 
ness, insincerity, and frivolity of disposition, terming the large boots 
in which they strutted, " leathern trunks;'^ — ^the result was, the most 
violent disputes and factions, to which Tyrconnell became a victim, 
poison, as it is believed, having been administered to him in a cup 
of ratafia. According to Sir John Dalrymple, he died, " lamenting 
with his last breath the miseries he had brought on his country.'' 
Such was the end of him, whom Lord Bellasis describes as " fool 
and madman enough to ruin ten kingdoms." But of whatever 
unconstitutional and arbitrary measures Tyrconnell may formerly 
have been guilty, and he is no doubt with justice accused, his latter 
conduct appears that of a real patriot, alive to the ruinous effects of 
civil warfare, and wilhng to sacrifice his own feelings for the restora- 
tion of tranquillity and the general advantage of the nation. 

On the retreat of WiUiam, and the successful defence of Limerick, 
the Irish, ever ardent and enthusiastic, anticipated confidently a 

Chap. III. LIMERICK. 47 

favourable and victorious campaign, and the French officers were 
willing by every means in their power to protract the war. One 
more effort was therefore made in the field under the direction of St» 
Ruth, who fell in the battle of Aughrim on the 12th July, 1691, and 
whose fate decided that of the day. A misunderstanding which 
existed between that general and Sarsfield, (created by James, Lord 
Lucan,) on whom the command devolved, prevented the mutual 
understanding and co-operation so necessary to the success of an 
army; and the Irish were completely routed by the troops of 
Wilfiam, commanded by General Ginkell. 

As a last resource Limerick became again the retreat of the adherents 
of James ; and its former defence encouraged the hope that it might 
a second time be maintained with equal success. Ginkell, warned by 
the defeat of William, made his approaches with caution, endeavouring 
by proclamations of pardon and protection to induce the Irish to 
lay down their arms. Of this second siege, which occupied about 
six weeks, the severest feature was an action that took place on 
Thomond Bridge, where many lives were lost, and in which the 
conduct of a French officer, who hastily ordered the drawbridge to 
be raised, thus sacrificing a considerable body of the Irish, confirmed 
the disUke that had existed on the popular side towards their alUes. 

As the winter was fast approaching, Ginkell determined if possible 
to secure the place, and on the 23d September, the garrison having 
beat a parley, a cessation of hostilities was agreed to. Terms were 
offered by him of so favourable a nature that they were gladly 
accepted by the besieged, and the articles of the capitulation bear date 
the 3d October, 1691* These conditions may be found at length in 
almost every work on Irish history, and their supposed violation has 
occasioned much political discussion of so severe and intemperate a 
character that it is difficult even to comment with impartiality on 
these transactions. 

Colonel Luttrell, an officer in the Irish army, although completely 

48 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

vindicated in Lord Westmeath's letter to Mr. Harris of the charge, is 
still stigmatized as the betrayer of an important passage of the 
Shannon. On stormy nights, when gusts of wind agitate the river, 

^' Foaming and fierce it rolls with fury on/' 

the neighbouring fisherman or peasant usually execrates " that 
traitor Luttrell, whose spirit is abroad shrieking on the waters.'* 

After the surrender of Limerick nineteen thousand men embarked 
for France, and were embodied into twelve regiments, which became 
distinguished in the history of Europe as the Irish Brigade. Amongst 
the charges strongly brought against the English is the breach of 
faith in preventing the women from emigrating with their husbands. 
There is a melody, as yet unpublished, which I have heard Mr. 
Bunting perform, said to have been sung on this occasion; it consists 
of a lamentation, and a chorus that interrupts, as it were, by a pas- 
sionate burst of grief, the mournful wildness of the air. 

The gallant Sarsfield was killed in the battle of Landen, and the 

/ following lines are to be found under an engraving of his " Portrai- 

\ ture.'' 

/ I "Oh! Patrick Sarsfield, Ireland's wonder. 

Who fought in field like any thunder. 
One of King James's chief commanders, 
1; < I Now lies the food of crows in Flanders !" 

On the 3d March, 1692, the war was declared by proclamation to 
have terminated in Ireland, and Limerick slowly recovered from its 
violent effects. That city was long regarded by the English govern- 
ment with pecuhar watchfulness and distrust, lest the exiled family 
of the Stuarts might still find adherents within its walls. Sixty years 
were allowed to elapse after the siege before this strictness was 
relaxed, its gates thrown open, and its bastions permitted to remain 
without sentinels. No less than seventeen gates were in existence 


Chap. III. LIMERICK. 49 

about the middle of the last century, which were guarded and 
regularly locked every night. 

A statement of the military arrangement of Ireland transmitted 
from DubUn to Mr. Edgar, Secretary to the Pretender, in 1726, 
contains the following paragraph : — 

" In Limerick there are twenty-two, and in Cork eleven companies 
of soldiers stationed. The companies selected for these garrisons 
are all English Protestants and other foreigners." 

Gloves are modem articles that have conferred celebrity on 
Limerick, and were not neglected in my inquiries ; but I found them 
dearer than in London, and the reason given was, " that they had 
to be brought from Cork, where they were principally made.'' 

Limerick is divided, hke almost every town in Ireland, into English 
Town and Irish Town; the fcrmer, generally called New Town 
Perry, has some well-built and handsome streets ; the best houses 
are of red brick, much in the style of London, with areas and a 
flagged pavement, which makes the place more agreeable to the 
pedestrian than Cork. The old, or Irish Town, " which Shanon,'' 
saith Camden, " a most famous river, by parting his chanell, com- 
passeth round about,'' is picturesque, narrow and dirty, the houses 
high, with peculiar old-fashioned gable ends towards the street. 

After the inns and uncertain accommodations we had met with 
in our circuitous journey, Swinburne's Hotel, which is excellent, 
appeared so to us in an eminent degree ; rooms furnished with car- 
pets and sofas having become quite a luxury. 

The custom-house and barracks are respectable buildings, and 
these, with the cathedral, form the architectural boast of Limerick. 
The latter is dedicated to St. Mary, and was founded by the O'Brien 
family on the site of the palace of Donald O'Brien, King of Limerick. 
It is a large and heavy edifice, and has from without an appearance 
of clumsiness and neglect; nor will an examination of the interior 
dissipate this impression. The whole pavement of the church 


50 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

seemed composed of a jumble of inscribed flag stones, many of 
which had been cut to fit a required space, and on others such 
inscriptions and tracery as happened to have been in high reUef were 
chiseled down in the most wanton manner ; ttvo or three ornamented 
fleury crosses, which had escaped this general mutilation, were so 
placed that the step of every passenger along the nave assisted to 
obliterate them ; in the aisle leading to the vestry-room an ancient 
Gothic tomb, richly wrought, was rapidly falUng to decay from the 
most unfeeUng neglect Whilst I was engaged in viewing it, the 
guide, with a large heavy key, stood idly chipping away some of the 
minutely carved ornaments; — never did I feel more forcibly the 
nothingness of human vanity than in this cathedral. The defaced 
" Hie Jacet'' and the worn " Obiit,'' the last effort at distinction, 
marking, even in death, the superiority of the feudal lord and the 
mitred abbot over their dependents, were daily tran^pled into oblivion 
without a thought ! — Respect for the dead ought to be encouraged ; 
it is in harmony with all the gentler and social virtues of our nature; 
and, although the effort to perpetuate our memory by means of stone 
or brass be idle, it is painful to see the silent movements of decay 
accelerated by the ignorant or the Ustless. 

The great east window is large, but every way inelegant ; near the 
Communion Table is a monument of considerable size, to Donough, 
Lord Thomond, who was Lord President of Munster, and died in 
1624, which, the inscription informs us, having been injured and 
defaced in the commotions of Charles I/s time, was restored in 1678. 

Against pillars in the nave are two singular inscriptions : 

DAN HAYES an honest 
Man and lovee of his Country. 

This Mr. Hayes was a gentleman of some fortune and very eccentric 
habits, who died in London, in 1767, whence his remains were 
brought to be interred at Limerick, and the foregoing lines, by his 

Chap. III. LIMERICK. 51 

own direction, were placed over them. He bequeathed his entire 
property to the support of the pubhc hospital of the city ; but his 
heirs opposed the will by law, and obtained a verdict in their favour. 
Hayeses Poetical Works have been collected, and underwent two 
editions ; but, judging from the specimens which I have seen quoted, 
his verses were extremely pompous and insipid, and are now scarcely 
The other inscription is — 

Memento mory 
Hebe lieth little Samuell 
Barington that great under 
taker, op famous cittis 
Clock and Chime Maker 
He made his one time goe 
early and latter. but now 


The 19 OP November then de 


this here is pleast by his 
Son Ben 1693. 

During the several sieges, the cathedral was considered an impor- 
tant station, being, from the necessities of the times, converted to 
military purposes. In 1642, the Irish threw their shot from thence 
into John's Tower defended by Captain Courtney ; and the garrison 
of Limerick, consisting of 2500 men, laid down their arms to Ireton 
in the cathedral when he became master of the place. In the last 
resistance of the city, the troops of Wilham were much annoyed by 
a skilful fire from the steeple, against which they directed their 
cannon, until checked by the orders of General Ginkell, who was 
anxious to preserve so venerable a structure. At Mungret, a short 
distance from Limerick^ was a monastic foundation, of which the 
Psalter of Cashel gives an almost incredible account — ^that it had 

H 2 

52 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

*^ within its walls six churches, contaioiDg, exclusive of scholars, 1500 
religious, 500 of whom were learned preachers, 500 psalmists, and 
the remaining 500 wholly applied themselves to spiritual exercises/' 

" As wise as the women of Mungret" is a common local proverb ; 
and Ferrar, in his History of Limerick, gives the subjoined explana- 
tion: — 

" A deputation was sent from the college at Cashel to this famous 
seminary at Mungret, in order to try their skill in the dead languages. 
The heads of the house at Mungret were somewhat alarmed lest their 
scholars should receive a defeat, and their reputation be lessened ; 
they therefore thought of a most humorous expedient to prevent 
the contest, which succeeded to their wishes. They habited some of 
their young students like women, and some of the monks like pea- 
sants, in which dresses they walked a few miles to meet the strangers, 
at some distance from each other. When the Cashel professors 
approached and asked any question of the distance of Mungret, or 
the time of day, they were constantly answered in Greek or Latin, 
which occasioned them to hold a conference, and determine not to 
expose themselves at a place where even the women and peasants 
themselves could speak Greek and Latin." 

The appellations of Tory and Rapparee frequently occur in the 
periods of Irish history connected with Limerick, and as the former 
is one by which a political party is at present distinguished, some 
account of these terms may not be unacceptable. 
. In the civil wars under Elizabeth the epithet Tory is supposed to 
have originated, and was applied only to the peasantry. Sir Henry 
Sydney, the Lord Deputy, according to Sir Richard Cox, " cursed, 
hated and detested Ireland above all other countries ; not that he 
had any dislike to the country, but that it was most difficult to do 
any service there, where a man must struggle with famine and fast- 
nesses, inaccessible bogs and hght-footed Tories.'' During the 
rebellion of 1641, the name was bestowed on such individuals as at 


first professed to remain neutral in the contention, but who ulti- 
mately^ — ^perhaps urged by their loss of property and consequent 
distress — took up arms with a view of reprisal or revenge on those 
by whom they had been reduced to absolute ruin. English and 
Irish — Protestant and Catholic — Republican and Loyalist, were alike 
their common enemies ; and Tories, being joined by men of despe- 
rate fortunes, united themselves into bodies ; and, in fact, became 
formidable gangs of freebooters, who harassed the regular troops of 
all parties without distinction. The name, therefore, was one of 
reproach, and " Tory hunting*' was almost viewed in the light of a 
pastime. An old rhyme in allusion to this sport is still orally current 
in the South of Ireland, and a decided favourite in the nursery 
collection. « 

" Ho ! Master Teague — what is your story l 
I went to the wood and I killed a Tory. 
I went to the wood and I killed another. 
Was it the same, or was it his brother? 

I hunted him in, and I hunted him out. 
Three times through the bog about and about ;. 
When out of a bush I saw his head. 
So I fired my gun, and I shot him dead." 

Defoe has accounted for the introduction of the name into England, 
by telling us that the famous Titus Oates may be considered as its real 
godfather, and relates the following anecdote respecting it. 

" There was a meeting (at which I was present) in the City, upon 
the occasion of the discovery of some attempt to stifle the evidences 
of the witnesses (about the Popish plot), and tampering with Bedlow 
and Stephen Dugdale. Among the discourse, Mr. Bedlow said, he 
had letters from Ireland, that there were some Tories to be brought 
over hither, who were privately to murder Dr. Oates and the said 
Bedlow. The doctor, whose zeal was very hot, could never hear 
any man talk after this against the plot or against the witnesses, but 


he thought he was one of these Tories, and called almost every man 
who opposed him in discourse, a Tory — ^till at laat the word Tory 
became popular/' 

Rapparee has much the same meaning as Tory, and is derived 
from an Irish word signifying a half-stick or broken beam resembling 
a half-pike, from whence the name was given to such as carried this 
weapon and did not belong to the regular troops of either army, but 
provided themselves, in the best way they could, with pikes, daggers 
or skeins, and such instruments of offence as could be readily 

The Tories in the time of Charles I., however, appear to have origi- 
nally received more provocation, and their conduct can be better 
vindicated than that of the Rapparees of William's. It is asserted, 
(and with strong claims to belief,) that the Irish commanders of 
James's army encouraged, by written protections, the Rapparees to 
surprise and plunder the straggling and detached parties of William's 
forces — particularly during the winter, when general hostilities were 
suspended, — by which means they not only harassed them extremely, 
but accumulated a supply of horses and muskets that enabled the 
Irish to bring an additional number of men into the field the ensuing 

When a Rapparee became a prisoner, the gallows instantly termi- 
nated his fate, and it is stated by Mr. Lesley that many poor harm- 
less country people became victims to mihtary legislation; but 
the necessity is obvious that no quarter should be given to men 
who lurked in ambush, ready to spring on their prey at every 
favourable opportunity, and whose acquaintance with the country 
enabled them to he concealed in the most artful and treacherous 

" When the Rapparees have no mind to show themselves upon 
the bogs, they commonly sink down between two or three little hills 
grown over with long grass, so that you may as soon find a bare as 




one of them; they conceal their arms thus — they take oflf the lock 
and put it in their pocket, or hide it in some dry place; they stop 
the mussel close with a cork and the touchhole with a small quill, 
and then throw the piece itself into a running water or a pond; 
you may see an hundred of them without arms, who look like the 
poorest, humblest slaves in the world, and you may search till you 
are weary before you find one gun; and yet when they have a 
mind to do mischief they can all be ready in an hour's warning, for 
every one knows where to go and fetch his own arms though you 
do not/' 

This account, although ridiculed by some writers, I see no reason 
to question, as, during the years 1793 and 1794, the disaffected in 
the north of Ireland concealed both themselves and their arms from 
the soldiery sent to disperse their meetings in a similar manner. 

The White Serjeant, Galloping Hogan^ Redmond O'Hanlon, Ned 
of the Hills, and Iron Mac Kabe are the names and titles by which 
some of the most noted Rapparee leaders were distinguished. 

" A History of the Irish Rogues and Rapparees'' is at present 
one of the most popular books amongst the peasantry, and has cir- 
culated to an extent that almost seems incredible ; nor is it unusual 
to hear the adventures and escapes of highwaymen and outlaws 
recited by the lower orders with the greatest minuteness, and dwelt 
on with a surprising fondness. 

Killaloe, a pass of the Shannon thirteen miles above Limerick, (the 
consequence of which has been mentioned more than once in the 
preceding Historical Sketch,) is a bishop's see of considerable anti- 
quity. The town is built upon the ascent of a hill, and surrounded 
by well shaped mountains ; a long bridge of many arches extends 
across the river, which is here wide and shallow. Mr. Nicholson's 
drawing combines the most important features of the place, which 
wears a poor appearance and seems to be little frequented by 
strangers, as the inn, if it deserves the name, included the business 



Chap. IIL 

of publican, linendraper, hosier and chandler under the same roof. 
One room was appropriated for a table d'hote, where my companion 
and myself joined a noisy good-humoured clerical party, none of 
whom could be accused of fastidiousness. On my rising to ring the 
bell, a jolly looking parson, observing that I sought for one in vain, 
exclaimed, " May be 'tis a bell you're looking for ; and are you so 
unreasonable then as to expect to find one, sir V 

Killaloe, in former days, was the resort of many religious pilgrims 
attracted by its reputed sanctity ; and the walls of some old buildings 
are still to be seen in its vicinity. Little more is known of the 
cathedral than the name of the founder, St. Molua, (whom Dr. Led- 
wich declares an imaginary saint,) and his disciple and successor St. 
Flannan, who was consecrated bishop about the year 639. The 
building of the present cathedral is attributed to the O'Brien family, 
many of whom are buried here. A Saxon arch in the wall on the 
south side of the nave, although 
evidently a portal, is called the tomb 
of Brien Boru' ; it is enriched by 
some florid and beautiful carving, 
which affords a whimsical display 
of ornament. In the churchyard 
stands an oratory, or stone roofed 
chapel, supposed to be of remote 
construction, and certainly of a much 
earlier date than the cathedral. Both 
gable ends contain portals ; that on 
the west side is adorned with mould- 
ings, and the east side, here sketched, 
appears to have had a building with 
a lower roof attached to it. 

An excursion which I made from Limerick to visit the Rev. R. 
Dickson of Vermont, enabled me to examine two of the most con- 

Chap. III. LIMERICK. 5? 

siderable architectural reftiains in the western part of the county : 
the castle of Carrigogunnel, and the ecclesiastical ruins at Adair. 
The former is five miles distant from Limerick, and is one of the 
largest casties I remember to have seen in Ireland. It stands on an 
abrupt limestone rock, and commands an extensive view, across the 
Shannon, of the County Clare and the low grounds termed " Corcass 
Land,'' which form the banks of that river. Its building is ascribed 
to the O'Brien family ;* and, according to Archdale, it belonged at 
one period to the Association of Knight Templars. From its^ situa- 
tion and extent, this pile must have been formerly a place of much, 

'' A fort of strength, a strong and stately hold 
It was at firsts though now it is full old. 
On rock alone full farre from other mount 
It stands, which shews it was of great account." 

About the year 1537, Cox informs us that, through stipulation 
and treachery, Carrigogunnel was lost and won more than once by 
the followers of the Earl of Desmond and those sent to reduce that 
turbulent chieftain and the country to tranquillity. At the siege of 

* The vol. 1425 of the Harleian MSS. contains the followmg pedigree of '' O'Brien 
of CarryconneU in the Countie of Limerickc." 

Mahon O'Brien. 

, ' — I 


I of whome the 

Brian Duff. £. of Thomond 

and others descended. 





Brian Duffe of 
Carigconnell in the 
Countie of Limerck, 
lived in anno 1615. 


Limerick, after the battle of Aughrim, it was garrisoned by 150 men, 
adherents of James II., but surrendered without resistance to Major 
General Scravenmore, ^ the leaving these detachments in such 
places,'' remarks Story, '^ being very unaccountable, since they had 
a mind to defend them no better. This seems,'' continues the same 
writer, ^^ rather a want of instructions what to do than courage to 
perform it, for, to give the Irish their due, they can defend stone 
walls very handsomely." The castle was considered so tenable 
a position, that it was deemed expedient to destroy it, and it was 
accordingly blown up, together with Castle Connell ; Dean Story 
receiving no less a sum than 1601. for the purchase of gunpowder to 
ruin these fortresses. 

The violent effect of the explosion is still evident in the dilapidated 
remains of Carrigogunnel. Massive fragments of the walls and 
towers lie scattered around in a confnsion not unpicturesque, and it 
is a matter of some di^culty to trace the original plan. A drawing 
of its distant effect is annexed* 

Near this castle Charles Johnson, the author of Chrysal, or the 
Adventures of a Guinea, and other works, was bora in 1719, and 
received his education at the diocesan school of Limerick. 

At Faha, the seat of Mr. Tuthill, between Carrigogunnel and 
Adair, a meteoric stone of considerable size, which fell there in 1815, 
was shown me by Mrs. Tuthill. It weighs, I imagine, nearly half 
a hundred weight, although there is an appearance of a piece having 
been struck off it. 

Adair is a small and neat village, eight miles west of Limerick, and 
deserving the particular notice both of the antiquary and the artist 
from its assemblage of ancient monastic edifices. It is well situated 
on the River Maig, which passes through the richly wooded and 
extensive park of Mr. Quin, and is navigable for small vessels. 

One of these abbeys is at present converted into a Roman Catholic 
chapel, and another, larger and more perfect, into a Protestant 

^ ;. V ' i 

■ -■ ..rf-. A «!^h-" ,■. I tm- -.V 

i I 

\ ^ 

Chap. III. 



church, the cloisters of which latter are in excellent preservation, but 
it contains little more that merits examination. 

The third abbey strands within Mr. Quints demesne, and, surrounded 
by venerable trees, becomes a most impressive and romantic object.. 
The seclusion and beauty of its situation are calculated to excite 
poetic feehngs in the mind, which are heightened by the gloom of ash 
and ancient yew trees, that almost darken the cloisters at noon-day. 

Some years since, the ground within its walls was levelled, and 
most of the tombs and inscriptions destroyed by order of the pro- 
prietor, to prevent the abbey being used as a burial ground. A 
pious superstition deterred the peasantry from disturbing the ashes 
of the dead, and no one could be procured to perform so sacrilegious 
an act — as if they feared the fulfilment of Shakspeare's threatening 
epitaph would be the consequence of the violation : 

*' Blest be the man that spares these atones. 
And curst be he that moves my bones.*' 

A party of soldiers were brought from Limerick for the purpose, 
who soon completed the work, and " the trim grassy aisle'* replaced 
the legends commemorative of the old fathers and feudal chiefs. 
Some monumental and confessional niches have escaped, and may 
still be seen. In the cloisters I found two Httle carved fragments ; one 
of these was an escutcheon charged with a cross saltire; 
the other, a figure in rude bas-relief about eighteen 
inches high, representing a grey friar, as appears from 
the costume. These abbies were founded by the 
Earls of Kildare, and were granted, on the dissolution 
of monasteries, to Sir Henry Wallop. The ruins of 
an extensive castle also stand within Mr. Quin's 
demesne. In the wars of Elizabeth's time it was a 
post warmly contested by the Irish and Spanish fol- 
lowers of Desmond with the English, who were driven 
to extremes by a blockade, and out of necessity com- 

I 2 

60 LIMERICK. Chap. III. 

pelled to hazard a desperate excursion into the Knight of Glen's 
country, where a severe skirmish of eight hours took place, in which 
the English came off without much loss, having killed fifty of their 
opponents. Shortly after the death of Desmond it was seized by 
the Lord Kerry, and the garrison put to the sword, but Captain 
Zouch obliged him to abandon it. 



' Castles high £aU in decay. 

And the Lords who once did hold them; 
Lords and castles pass away 

As our heads when we hanre told them." 

Translation from an Irish MS. 

The road leading from Limerick towards Cork is for some miles 
flat and uninteresting, though the horizon is bounded by mountains 
with an agreeable outline. The cabins of the peasantry are most 
deplorable ; and the state of filth in which the owners live$ incon- 
ceivable to an Englishman who has not travelled in Ireland Twenty 
of these hovels sometimes succeed each other without a chimney ; 
and invariably a stagnant black puddle is seen close to the door, 
appointed receiver-general of all kinds of filth, streams from which 
issue in every direction, one generally entering at the cabin door 
and trickling down over its mud floor : — " Such habitations,^' to use 
the words of Sir Richard Hoare, " teeming with a numerous popula- 
tion of children, pigs and poultry, present a truly deplorable and 
affecting sight to every man of feeling and humanity/' 

About nine miles distant from Limerick, not &r from the road, 
lies Lough Gur, formerly a place of consideration ; its castle, which 


Stood on an island, being out of the reach of musketry, and the 
ruggedness of the surrounding country rendering the approach of 
cannon a matter of difficulty. Sir George Carew, in the beginning 
of 1600, shortly after he assumed the government of Munster, re- 
connoitered Lough Gur Castle, and found it garrisoned by more than 
two hundred soldiers, commanded by James Fitz Thomas, a near 
relative of the Earl of Desmond^ to the history of whose ruinous 
fate the present chapter is chiefly devoted. On observing the Pre- 
sident's approach, a few shots were fired from the castle, but without 
effect, and Sir George Carew returned to Limerick, where, after 
much parade in the preparation of ordnance to reduce Lough Gur, 
its surrender was purchased for sixty pounds from Owen Grome, 
who had been entrusted with its defence by James Fitz Thomas. 

An Irish topographical manuscript without date, the writer of 
which I have reason to beUeve was John McDonald, or Shane 
Clarah, mentioned hereafter, is at present in my possession, and lies 
before me with a translation. In it " Lough Guir'* is described as 
more than eight miles distant from Limerick, and remarkable on 
account of a beautiful and verdant hill, almost in the centre of the 
lake. " On the foot of this hill,'' (I copy literally the translation,) 
^^ at the north side, is a stately castle in the Gothic fashion. The hill 
is about an English mile and a half in circumference, and on its 
south-west side is the largest part of the lough; &ere, at the distance 
of three or four hundred yards from the shore, formerly stood a 
square castle rising out of the water, on the vault of which was 
planted, as I was told by Mr. Baily the owner of the place^ five or 
six apple trees which then bore fruit ; and on the edges of the vault 
he caused battlements to be raised to prevent their destruction by the 
undulation of the waters. I have been," continues the writer, *^ at 
this extraordinary orchard and vault, the owner of which partly 
supports himself by what money he receives from the curious who 
visit this place; there is but one causeway to the hill^ no doubt 

*•--,< f. rnx 



^ iT^ 


fortified by the ever-memorable Brien Boraimhe in the Danish times^ 
which has yet the remains of two out-works upon it/* 

Near Lough Gur, and close to the road-side, a large Druidical 
circle of stones is to be seen, of which some description may be found 
in Mr. Twiss's Tour and Trotter's Walks through Ireland, but a 
severe fall of rain prevented my examination of this rude monument. 

Two miles farther brought us to BmflF, or Brough, a wretched 
village, with the ruins of an old castle, mentioned in the Pacata 
Hibernia. Continuing our route we arrived at Kilmallock, sixteen 
miles from Limerick, and entered the town, under a dark and massive 
gateway, late in the evening. The gloom which partially obscured 
every object, as we drove along a street composed of mean cabins, 
mingled with the ancient statetiness of towers and embattled walls, 
produced rather a mournful impression on the mind not unfavourable 
to useful thought, but it was soon dispelled by the prospect of 
miserable accommodations and the consequential officiousness of 
our landlady. 

From its present fallen condition and former greatness, Kilmallock 
has been called *^ the Irish Balbeck,'* by Dr. Campbell, whose 
description of the plate in his Philosophical Survey, (which^ by the 
by, has very little if any likeness to Kilmallock,) proves him to be, 
though an agreeable and intelligent writer, no artist. — ^' There was 
something,*' says that author, " so picturesque in the perspective of 
this place that I could not help attempting to delineate it ; I send 
you my essay, done, as you see it, in less than an hour ; I mustj 
however^ remark to youy that I began upon a scale too large for my 
paper, and was not able to get in the whole town'' I 

Kilmallock seems to have been gradually sinking into decay since 
the time of Cromwell, when it was dismantled and received much 
injury from the parUamentary army. Two (of the four) gateways 
still exist, and have a solid heavy effect, with a strong resemblance 
to Spanish or Moorish architecture. But it is from the main street 


that a just idea of its ancient consequence may be formed; on each 
side are the remains of houses built of hewn stone, which seem to 
have been constructed on an uniform plan ; and so excellent is the 
workmanship, the walls of many of them are now in perfect preserva- 
tion, only wanting roofs and floors to make them as complete as when 
inhabited. These houses are three stories high, ornamented with an 
embattlement and a tasteful stone moulding on the outside, of this 
pattern : Jjt — ^ — ^ — ^ — ^ . The square window frames and large 
fire-places are well carved, in a bold and massive style; and such is 
the durability of the limestone, though exposed to the weather and 
casual injuries, that it retains the sharpness of the chisel as if only 
yesterday from the hands of the sculptor, 

A chimney-piece in the shell of one of these buildings bears the 
inscription — 

SH 16 IHS 38 EH 

These initials I was told were those of Simon and Edward (more 
probably Elizabeth or Elinor) Healy ; and as these houses were evi- 
dently built about the same time, this date satisfactorily points out 
the period. 

The annexed sketch of the ground-plan of KilmaJlock I have 
made from recollection, to assist the reader in comprehending the 
description ; and have distinguished in it, by a deeper shade, such 
ancient edifices as still exist, from the cabins and mean houses of 
modern formation. 

Little attention is paid by its present inhabitants to the preserva- 
tion of the remains of its former importance. On the contrary they 
are daily destroyed. Whenever a hovel is required to be built, the 
materials are procured by breaking down part of these once splendid 
mansions, some of which have been lowered and fitted up in ac- 
cordance with the neglect and desertion of the place, and the interior 
of others is occupied by sheds for cattle, or more loathsome pigsties. 

Jia^f rt'/ie^ o?7 fAr ThmA of*tA4' Ve-rt/ofi fhrrafy. 

^oeti/frvrn 4^.-^*i^/'' 

SAreHc^ o/7A^ CrrounilJ'lan, of/C/LAC^ZLOCIC. 

J^t-mmt^ »i»'Sem%» ^^^l7fCM»/1w>frr. 




The town walls, still retaining in some places their original height, 
may be traced uninterruptedly from the gate on the Charleville side 
to that on the Limerick^ which I am inclined to consider a fourth part 
of thdr former extent 

A stream, named the Cummogue, runs close to the town, and falls 

into the river Maig ; on its opposite banks are the ruins of two 

abbeys, which complete the vestiges of ancient Kilmallock. That 

on the same side with the town contains monuments to members of 

the Fitzgerald, Verdon, Blakeney, and Haly families, erected during 

the seventeenth century, and it is difficult to imagine more barbarous 

or grotesque pieces of sculpture than some of them exhibit; indeed 

it is surprising, afler beholding the beautiful masonry of that time so 

conspicuous in the town, to find tombs of the same date, on which 

much labour has been bestowed — such unskilful productions. The 

bas reliefs copied from the Verdon tomb, bearing the years l6l4 

and 1626, may serve as an iUustration ; yet Ferrar, in his History of 

Limerick, says — '^ This monument was of excellent workmanships and 

esteemed one of the best in Munster;" and speaking of the uncouth 

figures I have sketched, says, they are ^' done in a masterly style in alto 

relievo/' Were it not for the coincidence of nam« and dates I 

should doubt the identity of the monument. The singularity of a 

Fitzgerald tomb (equally rude with the Verdon) perhaps requires 

mention. A figure of Death is conspicuously engraven on it, with 

the hexameter verse — 

*^ Non fugiam! prius expenar — ^Non Mors mihi terror." 

The chancel of this abbey has been fitted up and is used as a 
church. The ruined abbey on the other side of the water is of 
greater extent, but has too lonely and stem an appearance to be 
picturesque, circumstances which render it more sublime. The 
architecture, though solid, is graceftil, and the great altar window, a 


fine specimen of the chaste lightness of the pure Grothic style. In 
the centre of its chancel stands the family tomb of the White 
Knight, a title assumed by a branch of the Fitzgeralds, or, as they 
are frequently called, Geraldines, and, according to Camden, ori- 
ginating from the grey hairs of the founder of that line. In the 
pedigree of the Fitzgerald family, the titles of some of the branches 
settled in the south of Ireland are so romantic that they carry us. 
completely back to the days of chivalry, as we find, beside the White 
Knight, the Knight of Glen, sometimes called the Knight of the 
Valley, the Black Knight, and the Knight of Kerry ; appellations 
that continue to be bestowed on the lineal representative at the pre- 
sent day. 

The ponderous slab that covered the White Knight's tomb is 
broken in two parts, one of which lies orerturned beside it, and 
bears the following inscription : — 

I. H. S. 



A boy tending some cattle, that had sheltered from the noon-tide 
heat in the shade of the abbey walls, seeing me examining this 
mutilated tomb, introduced himself with the exclamation, " The 
curse of Cromwell be on the White Knight.— He was the cruel and 

Chap. IV, 



bad man, Sir'!'' and added, " They say 'twas the black bull that 
tattered it in this way, your honour ; but 'tis my belief it was none 
of his doing, but the work of some kind of evil spirit or other. 
It was just broken and left as it is now four nights ago, and in my! 
opinion 'tis a judgment on the White Knight, for he was the cruel 
and bad man !" 

My new bare-footed acquaintance showed me an inscribed stone 
lying in the dilapidated cloisters which, with 
the armorial fragment copied near the Ge- 
raldine tomb, are the only monumental re- 
mains to be discerned in this abbey. The 
inscription in the cloisters has already been 
printed in Ferrars' Limerick and Mr. Weld's 
Account of Killamey ; but being in itself curious 
I will not omit it, particularly as there is some 
slight variation in my transcript from that of 
the latter gentleman. 









NEP. : 



McDonald, (better known by the name of Ollistrum,) the leader of 
a party of Highlanders in the commotions of Charles the First's 
time, and who was treacherously murdered at Knocknisross, near 

" k2 


Buttevant, according to tradition was buried in this abbey, but the 
spot is unknown.* 

Kilmallock, as the scene of many historical events, has numerous 
interesting recollections connected with it. In particular, the fate of 
the Desmond family, a melancholy picture that assumes even a more 
mournful tinge since the irritation of party feeling has subsided. — 
With possessions of nearly four counties, extending above 100 miles, 
and containing more than 570,000 acres, the Earls of Desmond, 
when actuated by private motives, were enabled to take the field 

* Two lamentable instances of the dread of the typhus fever which raged in the soath 
of Ireland in 1817> are related as having occurred within these ruins; — ^instances of con- 
duct so inhuman that they are really a reflection on our nature. — ^The account is given in 
the words of the ill-fated Mr. Trotter, which, from inquiries made on the spot, I was sony 
to find fully confirmed. 

** In one part of the ruins, where a fine arched side-aisle was still very perfect, my 
guide showed some terror : I soon learned from him the cause. A person ill of fever had 
been lA there the day before, lest he should communicate the infection to the fiimily 
where he lodged. — He was left to expire ! His hollow voice plaintively implored some 
drink ; 1 assured him he should have it, and be taken care of, and hope revived at the 
moment life was ebbing fast away. In another part of this monastery I saw a hat of a 
departed victim of fever exposed some time ago, and at our inn I heard the following 
story : — An American gentleman, totally a stranger, well clad and of pleasing appearance, 
came a few months ago to Kilmallock. He went to no inn, but wandered about the ruins, 
till at last entering them he was observed no more, and perhaps forgotten ! He was iO, 
and fever burned in his veins ; but where can a pennyless and forlorn wanderer turn m a 
country where he is without friends or money ? — It happened a gentleman was ill at the 
inn, and required the attendance of a person to sit up every night. The inn-keeper's son 
performed this humane office frequently ; and very early one morning, as the stars were 
fading tt the approach of twilight, he walked oat to the monastery to refresh himself with 
the morning air ; he heard a murmuring noise as of some human being. It was two or 
three days after the American gentleman's disappearance. He recollected this, and advanced 
-—but can I go on ? — Extended on his back in a recess of a ruined aisle, the unfortunate 
stranger lay speechless and expiring ! one band clenched the mouldering wall, the other 
his hat. The young man, terrified and shocked, ran for assistance. On his return this 
victim of misfortune was no more ! — Fever had arrested his steps." 


with an armed force so considerable as to excite just apprehensions 
in those who had the government of an imperfectly subdued country. 
But the history of Gerald, the sixteenth earl, who has been called 
** Ingens rebellibus exemplar," is briefly given in Baker's Chronicle, 
and with so much affecting simplicity, that I am induced to transcribe 
the words. 

" Desmond possessed whole countries, together with the County 
Palatine of Kerry, and had, of his own name and race, at least five 
hundred gentlemen at his command, all whom and his own life also 
he lost within the space of three years, very few of the house being 
lefl alive.'' ^ 

If, on the one side, it was necessary for the well-being of the 
country to suppress such desolating feuds in a question of individual 
property as that at Afifane, (noticed in a subsequent paper,) and to 
prevent the oppressive and cruel extortion established by an Earl of 
Desmond, in the reign of Edward the Second, called, coigne and 
hvery , or the power of levying indiscriminately and at will whatever 
victuals, provender, and money, his necessities required ; so, on the 
other, the Earl of Desmond seems to have been driven into rebellion 
by the unrelenting policy of those who had the direction of public 
affairs. — And it is to be feared there is too much truth in Dr. Curry's 
opinion, that " his vast estate was a strong inducement to the chief 
governors of Ireland to make or to proclaim him a rebel, their prey 
being insured to them in either case by his forfeiture." 

As securities for her husband's conduct and pledges of his inno* 
cence, their only son, an infant, together with O'Healy, Bishop of 
Mayo, and O'Rourke, a Franciscan friar of noble descent, were pre- 
sented to Sir William Drury by the Countess of Desmond ; but the 
Earl, though with expressions of loyalty, declining to comply with 
the summons of Sir William Pelham, (the successor to Drury as 
Lord Justice,) and hesitating in cheying the unnatural command to 
bear arms against his brother, who had been declared a traitor, was 


also proclaimed one himself on the 2d of November, 1579, if he did 
not surrender within twenty days. 

Desmond naturally doubted the faith of those who had already 
deceived him, by whom his property had been injured, his complaints 
neglected, and his grievances unredressed. When he complied with 
the summons of Drury to appear at Kilmallock, whither he came 
" with a well-appointed company of horse and foot, he was com- 
mitted to custody,'' says Leland, " on bare suspicion; but upon 
making the most solemn promises of loyalty and fidelity, he obtained 
his liberty, retired from the camp, but refused to attend the deputy, 
and was therefore still considered as a favourer of foreign invaders 
and their cause. Upon this bare suspicion, (Sir Nicholas) Malby 
attacked his town of Rathkeal. — ^This the Earl considered as an 
unprovoked and unwarrantable attempt which he was justified in 

Two members of the council, the Lords Gormanstown and Delvin, 
refused to sign the proclamation against Desmond, and one hour 
after it was published, his Countess, we are told, " came to the camp 
to intercede for her unhappy Lord ; bat the forces had marched 
towards her husband's country, which they entered with fire and 

The fathers O'Healy and O'Rourke, who had become sureties for 
Desmond's loyalty, were executed, and his infant son was sent a 
state-prisoner to the Tower of London. Even as an additional goad 
to drive Desmond to desperate measures, the Earl of Opnond, his 
former rival, was named to take the field against him. So violent 
was the animosity existing between these two noblemen, that when, 
on a former occasion, they had agreed to a public reconciliation 
under the decision of a Special Commission, an aperture was cut in 
a door for them to shake hands through, " each fearing to be 
poignarded by the other." 

To state Desmond's case with impartiality, it is necessary to point 


out that his haughty and tyrannic disposition made him regard the 
acts of others with suspicion ; and though of English extraction, in 
common with most Irish chieftains, he knew not how to demean 
himself as a subject, and resisted every encroachment on his feudal 
dignity. A more dangerous man, therefore, to any peaceable go- 
vernment could not have existed — arrogant, oppressive, and fero- 
cious. Irritated at the severe conduct of the Enghsh governors 
towards him, whom an invasion compelled to adopt decisive mea- 
sures, the enraged Earl, collecting his followers on the Ballyhoura 
mountain, for the first time appeared as the avowed enemy of 
Queen Elizabeth, and proceeded to attack the town of Youghall, 
which he captured without much opposition, and deposited the 
plunder in his qastles of Strancally and Lisfinneen, having garrisoned 
them with the invading Spanish troops. Elated by this success, the 
Earl, with a view to intimidate SirlVilliam Pelham, wrote to him, 
stating that he had entered into a league for the defence of the 
catholic religion with the King of Spain, under the sanction of the 
Pope, and invited Sir William to co-operate with them. Imme^ 
diately on such a declaration. Lord Ormond and Sir Warham St. 
Leger made a fierce attack on the estates of Desmond, destroying 
the tillage^ burning and ruining his castles, and murdering, in cold 
blood, the foreigners by whom they were garrisoned. 

A series of acts of devastation on the part of the EngUsh, that 
were vainly opposed by Desmond, ensued for six months, at the 
end of which time that nobleman, his Countess, and Saunders the 
Papal Legate, escaped with their lives only from the royal troops, 
and Lady Desmond once more appeared before the Lord Justice, 
beseeching him in tears and on her knees, forgiveness and pity for her 
consort. But Sir WilUam Pelham remained inexorable ; and coldly 
speaking of the Queen's clemency, referred to her Majesty's mercy, 
at the moment when Lord Desmond's brother. Sir James, was con- 


demned and executed by martial law, and his reeking limbs exposed 
to the public gaze on the gates of Cork. 

A mutiny amongst the English army was suppressed by openly 
giving up Desmond's country to plunder instead of their pay ; and 
die greater part of the population, to escape the revolting cruelties 
attendant on military exaction, fled for protection and found it, from 
the bravest and most noble of enemies — ^a British seaman — Sir 
Wilham Winter, the Vice-Admiral of England, who was stationed 
off the coast of Kerry to intercept reinforcements from Spain, re- 
ceiving many of the despairing frigitives on board his squadron. 

During this time, the garrison of Ealmallock kept the adherents 
and forces of Desmond in check, so as to prevent their forming an 
union with the disaffected of the northern provinces, particularly 
with Lord Baltinglass, notwithstanding an effort made by Sir John 
of Desmond and Dr. Saunders, in which their attendants were made 
prisoners ; and shortly after. Captain Zoucb, the companion in arms 
of Raleigh, surprised, near Castle Lyons, Sir John, with his relative 
James Fitz John, of Strancally, both of whom were executed, and 
their mangled remains displayed in barbarous triumph. 

Pursued from one retreat to another, the Earl of Desmond, after 
many ineffectual efforts at reprisal, and several narrow escapes, was 
forced ^^ to keep his Christmas (1582) in Kilquegg wood, near 
Kilmallock,^^ where being attacked, his followers were all put to the 
sword, and he and his Countess escaped by remaining concealed 
under a bank of the river, up to their chins in water. About the 
middle of the folloMring year, Desmond's chief force, consisting 
only of sixty gallowglasses, was surprised in the act of boiling 
horse-flesh, and half of them slain by a party from Kilmallock, in 
Harlow or Agherlow wood. On the death of Dr. Saunders, who 
perished miserably, having fallen a victim to famine and the effects 
of exposure to the weather, and whose body was discovered partially 


devoured by wolves, an intimation was' made to Desmond that, on 
submission, his individual pardon would be granted ; but the same 
unyielding spirit that animated this Earl at Affane inspired his reply 
— " Tell the Lords Justices," said Desmond, " that I would rather 
forsake my God than forsake my men !" 

In September following, the Earl, accompanied by three horsemen 
and a priest, encountered a party of Lord Roche's followers, from 
whom, being well mounted, they escaped, except the priest, who 
gave a lamentable account of the extremes to which Desmond was 

The last scene of the Earl's life is, however, the most tragical. His 
necessities having compelled him to take some cattle belonging to a 
poor woman, he was pursued by a few musketeers and kerns in the 
English pay, who on entering a little grove, in a lonely and moun- 
tainous glen, four miles east of Tralee, about midnight, discovered, 
seated round the fire of a ruinous hovel, four or five of Desmond's 
known adherents, all of whom immediately fled on their entrance, 
leaving one venerable" and powerless old man: a soldier, named 
Daniel Kelly, made a blow at him with his sword, and wounded him 
so severely as almost to dissever his arm ; repeating the blow, the old 
man ejaculated, " Spare me, spare me, I am the Earl of Desmond." 
But the appeal was made in vain; for Kelly struck off his head and 
conveyed it to the Earl of Ormond, by whom it was sent over, 
" pickled in a pipkin," to England, where it was. spiked on London 
Bridge ; and his body, after eight weeks concealment, obscurely in- 
terred in the little chapel of Killanamana in Kerry. For this service 
Elizabeth's " well-beloved subject and soldier, Daniel Kelly," was 
rewarded with a pension of twenty pounds yearly, which he enjoyed 
for many years, but was ultimately hanged at Tyburn. 

The account given by Spencer of the state of Desmond's country, 
who was a spectator of it, exhibits a dreadful and impressive picture 
of the calamitous effects of civil warfare. He tells us, that " any 



Stony heart would rue the same. Out of every comer of the woods 
and glynns they'* (the people of Munster) " came creeping forth 
upon their hands, for their legs could not bear them — ^they looked 
like anatomies of death. They spake like ghosts crying out of their 
graves; they did eat the dead carrions, happy where they could find 
tliom, yea, and one another soon after, insomuch, as the very car- 
cases they spared not to scrape out of their graves; and if they found 
a plot of water-cresses or shamrocks, there they flocked as to a feast 
for the time, yet not able to continue there withal ; — ^that in short 
space there was none almost left, and a most populous and plentiftil 
country suddenly became void of man and beast.^' 

In the Earl of Ormondes services against Desmond, the destruction 
of 46 captains, 800 notorious traitors, and 4000 common soldiers is 
enumerated ; yet a letter that has been preserved in the Senna Sacra, 
from Desmond to Lord Ormond, is written in that tone of submis- 
sion which renders it but too probable that vindictive motives alone 
urged the latter to reftise every overture of Desmond's to obtain 

Neither the death of Desmond nor the depopulation of the 
country restored tranquillity to the south of Ireland; and Elizabeth, 
by the advice of Sir Robert Cecil, sent over Jan^es, the only son of 
the late Earl, who had been educated in the Tower, under the eye of 
the English government, in expectation that the adherents of his 
father would rally around their young Lord and become peaceable 
subjects. This was the more desirable, as a remaining member of 
the family, termed in history the Sugan Earl, had assumed the title 
of Desmond, and appeared in arms against the Queen. 

Reared in confinement, inexperienced in popular tumult, and 
ignorant of political intrigue, the young Earl James arrived at 
Youghall, on the 14th of October, 1600, under the guardianship of 
Captain Price, and submissively waited on the Lord President of 
Munster, to whom he delivered dispatches explanatory of^ the purpose 


of his journey into Ireland, and his patent of creation as Earl of 
Desmond, copies of which may be found in the Pacata Hibemia. 
The President sent the young Earl to Kilmallock, whither the news 
of his coming had preceded him, and the followers of the Desmond 
family crowded to welcome their chief, '^ insomuch as all the streets, 
doores, and windowes, yea the very gutters and tops of the houses 
were filled/' — " That night the Earle was invited to supper to Sir 
George Thornton's, who then kept his house in the town of Kil- 
mallock; and although the Earle had a guard of soldiers which made 
a lane from his lodgings to Sir G. Thornton's house, yet the con- 
fluence of the people that flockt thither to see him was so great, as 
in half an hour he could not make his passage through the crowd, 
and after supper he had the Uke encounters at his retume to his 
lodging." Old and yoimg hurried into Kilmallock from the sur- 
rounding districts, the former showered their blessings on the Earl, 
the latter offered their vow of allegiance; and, according to an 
ancient custom, every one flung upon him handfuls of wheat and salt, 
as a prediction of future peace and plenty, so powerful was the bond 
of feudal clanship^ 

James, the young Earl, had been brought up a protestant in 
England, and the day following his arrival at Kilmallock, being 
Sunday, he attended service in the parish church. On his return 
his followers collected around him, and with tears and groans re- 
proached him with his apostasy. They implored him on their knees 
not to forsake the reUgion of his fathers. James meekly urged, in 
reply to their vehement entreaties, the plea of reUgious toleration to 
be the true spirit of the Gospel ; but this reasoning did not satisfy 
his adherents ; they looked on him as an agent of the English go* 
vemment, sent amongst them to sap the foundation of their faith ; 
and the very voices that yesterday were loudest in acclamations of 
joy, swelled the uproar of imprecations poured upon James Fitz- 
gerald, for they denied his right to the title of his ancestors, whose 



religion he had renounced. Every mark of ignominy and insult 
3vas heaped upon him by the infuriated crowd — ^they cursed him, 
they spit upon him ; and abandoning Kilmallock, left the Earl of 
Desmond to return to England, where he died in obscurity a few 
months after. His dissolution is announced in the Pacata Hibernia, 
with an air of the greatest sang-froid. — " The eleventh (January, 
1601) the Lord President had intelligence from England that James 
(the late restored Earle of Desmond) was dead, and that eighteen 
hundred quarters of oates were sent into Munster for the reliefe of 
our horses/' 

The fate of the Sugan Earl, as he is styled, was little more fortunate 
than that of his predecessor. After one or two defeats he was hunted 
from place to place, and so closely followed that it was often known 
to his pursuers where he had been concealed the preceding night.* 
The Galtee mountains were the chief retreat of the Sugan Earl; 
and his kinsman, the White Knight, being induced by money or 
fear, perhaps both, betrayed and seized him as he lurked in the cave 
of Skeenarinky, not far distant from Mitchelstown. Being forcibly 
carried to Kilmallock, he was thence conveyed to Cork, where he 
was tried and found guilty of being a traitor, on the 14th of August, 
1601, But his life was spared by a piece of state poHcy ; and the 
Earl, transmitted to the Tower of London, died there a prisoner, 
after seven years confinement, and was buried in its chapel. His 
brother John emigrated to Spain, and was distinguished as Earl or 
Count of Desmond, which title was also given to his son, Gerald, 

* Sir Richard Cox^ in the narration of one of his escapes, strongly depicts the wretched 
stiate of the country. " The President, having notice that the Sugan Earl and Dermod 
Magragh, titular Bishop of Cork, were at Lisbarry, in Drumfinin Woods, sent a party 
thither, who were so near surprizing them that the Sugan Earl was fain to run away bare- 
foot ; and the Bishop got some old rags about him, and so well personated an old im- 
potent beggar, that the English who met him did not think him worth a hanging, and 
therefore suffered him to pass." 


who died in the service of a foreign court, without issue, about the 
year 1632, 

The inhabitants of Kilmallock received a charter from EUzabeth, 
dated the 15th of April, 1584, granting them some valuable privileges 
on account of their good services against that " arch-traitor'' Des- 
mond, during whose rebelUon the place had been more than once 
plundered and set on fire. In the subsequent contests which have 
distracted Ireland, the town was used as a garrison, but there is 
notliing memorable recorded of it. 

The title of Viscount Kilmallock was bestowed on Sir Dominick 
Sarsfield; and the circumstances attendant on that creation are 
somewhat remarkable from the title of Viscount Kinsale having 
been first conferred on him, notwithstanding its existence in the De 
Courcy family, who immediately petitioned the King on this usur- 
pation of their right ; and the Privy Council having confirmed it. 
Sir Dominick was forbidden to use the name of Kinsale and styled 
Viscount Sarsfield, with permission to make choice of any other, and 
he accordingly took that of Kilmallock, which was confirmed by 
letters patent, dated the 17th of September, I627. 



; : /-..■■■ ' ..■■;.,• : 

Sach airy beings awe th' untutored swain, 
Nor thou, tho' leam'd, his homelier thoughts neglect.' 


In common with other countries^ particularly the Highlands of 
Scotland, a traditional belief exists amongst the Irish peasantry in 
those romantic little sprites denominated Fairies; and it is wonderful, 
considering their being creatures of imagination, that the superstitions 
respecting them should have remained so much confined, and so 
very similar. Whether the fairy mythology of Ireland has been de- 
rived from the East, and transmitted thence through the medium of 
Spain, or has, as some believe, a northern origin, it is of Uttle import 
to inquire, particularly as nothing more than conjecture can now be 
advanced on the subject. It is, however, evident, that the present 
fairies of Ireland, if not Gothic creations, were at least modelled in 
the same school and age with the elves of northern Europe. 

There is an odd mixture of the ridiculous and the sublime in the 
prevalent notions respecting such beings. Nor could there have been 
invented a more extraordinary medium between Man and his Maker. 

Chap.V, fairies and supernatural agency. 79 

The most esteemed novelist of the present day has happily described 
these curious creations of the mind, as 

'' That, which is neither ill nor well ; 
That, which belongs not to Heaven or HeD ; 
A wreath of the mist, a bubble of the stream, 
Twixt a waking thought, and a sleeping dream, 

A form that men spy 

With the half-shut eye. 
In the beams of the setting sun am I !" 

Partaking both of the human and spiritual nature, having imma^ 
terial bodies, with the feeUngs and passions of mortality, fairies are 
supposed to possess both the power and the inclination to revenge 
an affront; and the motive of fear, which induces some savage 
nations to worship the Devil, prompts the vulgar in Ireland to term 
fairies " good people,'' and in Scotland " guid folk i' nor is it 
uncommon to see a rustic, before drinking, spill a small part of his 
draught upon the ground, as a complimentary libation to the fairies. 
Such as use the word fairy, are often corrected in a whisper, 
which caution arises from conceiving that these beings are invisibly 
present, and the appellation is considered offensive, as denoting an 
insignificant object. Thus, hoping to deceive by flattery, the maxim 
most attended to in the intercourse with these ^' little great ones,'' is, 
that " civility begets civility." Doubtless, on the same principle, 
the Greeks, as observed by Augustus Schlegel, called their fairies 
Eumenides, or the benevolent, and assigned for their habitation a 
beautiful grove. ^^ I cannot think of this policy," said my fiiend 

C , ^^ without fancying a grin on Medusa, and those little urchins 

the northern fairies, holding their sides with laughter/' The same 
system of fear and flattery seems to have existed amongst the Irish, 
even towards animals, in the time of Elizabeth; for Camden' tells us, 
*^ they take unto them wolves, to be their goddbs (gossips), whom 


they teanne Chari Christy praying for them, and wishing them well, 
and so they are not afraid to be hurt by them." 

The circular intrenchments and barrows, known by the name of 
Danish forts,* in Ireland, are pointed out as the abode of fairy com- 
munities, and to disturb their habitation, in other words to dig, or 
plough up a rath or fort, whose construction the superstitious natives 
ascribe to the labour and ingenuity of the " good people,'' is con- 
sidered as unlucky and entaihng some severe disaster on the violator 
and his kindred. An industrious peasant, who purchased a farm in 
the neighbourhood of Mallow, from a near relative of mine, com- 
menced his improvements by building upon it a good stone house, 
together with a Kme kiln. Soon after, he waited on the proprietor, 
to state \^ the trouble he was come to by reason of the old fort, the 
fairies not approving of his having placed the lime-kiln so near their 
dwelling ; — ^he had lost his sow with nine bonniveens (sucking pigs), 
his horse fell into a quarry and was killed, and three of his sheep 
died, ' all through the means of the fairies/ " Though the lime-kiln 
had cost him five guineas, he declared he would never burn another 
stone in it, but take it down, without delay, and build one away from 
the fort, saying, he was wrong in putting that kiln in the way of the 
" good people,'' who were thus obliged to go out of their usual track. 
The back door of his house unfortunately also faced the same fort, 
but this offence was obviated by almost closing it up, leaving only 
a small hole at the top, to allow the good people free passage, should 
they require it. In these raths, fairies are represented as holding their 
festive meetings, and entering into all the fantastic and wanton mirth 
that music and glittering banquets are capable of inspiring. A fairy 
chieftain, of much local celebrity, named Knop, is supposed to hold 
his court in a rath, on the road side between Cork and Youghall, 

* In Wright's Louthiana^ Plate XI I. of Part t. is a representation of " the Fairy Mount 
at Louth.** 


where often travellers, unacquainted with the country, have been led 
astray by the appearance of lights, and by alluring sounds pro- 
ceeding from within; but when 

*' The village cock gave note of day. 
Up sprang in haste the airy throng ; 
The word went round, ' away ! away !' 
The night is short, the way is long" — 

and the delicious viands change into carrion. The crystal goblets 
become rugged pebbles, and the whole furniture of the feast under- 
goes a similar metamorphosis.* 

An eddy of dust, raised by the wind, is attributed to the fairies 
journeying from one of their haunts to another ; on perceiving which, 
the peasant will obsequiously doflf his hat, muttering, ** God speed 
ye, God speed ye. Gentlemen f and returns it to his head, with the 
remark, " good manners are no burthen,'' as an apology for the mo- 
tive, which he is ashamed to acknowledge. Should he, however, 
instead of such friendly greeting, repeat any short prayer, or de- 
voutly cross himself, using a religious response, the fairy journey is 
interrupted, and if any mortals are in their train, the charm by which 
they were detained is broken, and they are restored to human so- 
ciety. On these occasions, the production of a black-hafted knife 
is considered as extremely potent in dissolving the spell. This 
weapon is believed to be effective not only against fairy incantation, 
but also against any supernatural being; and accounts of many twi- 

* In the Transactions of the Ibemo-Celtic Society, a curious poem, attributed to 
Andrew M'Curtin, a wandering Bard who lived about the year 1740, is mentioned as 
still extant, in the Irish language. Conceiving that his talents were not sufficiently ap- 
preciatedy he composed an Address to Donn of Duagh, or Donn of the Sand Pits, an 
imaginary being, supposed to preside over the fairies of a district in the county Clare, 
supplicating Donn to take him into his service, as he is neglected by mortals ; and in 
praising^ the hospitality of the chief of the fairies, he obliquely censures the parsimony of 
the gentlemen of the country. It begins, — ^* Profound salutations to thee, oh Donn of 
the Sand Pits" (literally of the Kieves or Vatts). 



light rencontres between shadowy forms and mortals are related, to 
estabUsh its power, gouts of blood or jelly being found in the morn- 
ing on the spot where the vision had appeared. A respectable 
farmer has been pointed out to me, whose famiUar appellation in 
Irish was " Kill the Devil,'' from the report of his having quelled, by 
means of a black-hafted knife, a phantom that long had haunted him. 

A stanza, containing the track of a fairy procession, is preserved 
by Dr. Neilson in his Irish Grammar; and, as a curiosity, the trans- 
lation may be worth copying: — 

Paying a fleeting visit to many an " airy castle, rath, and mount,'' 
Finvar and his troop hold their course, from dawn of mom till fall of 
night, on beautiful winged coursers — 

** Around Knock Grein and Nock na Rae, 
Bin Builvin and Keis Corain 
To Bin Eachlan and Loch Da ean. 
From thence north-east to Sleive Guilih — 
They traversed the lofty hills of Moume, 
Round high Sleive Denard, and Balachaniry, 
Down to Dundrin, Dundrum and Dunardalay, 
Right forward to Knock na Feadalea" — 

the latter name signifying in English, the Musical Hill, so called 
from the supernatural strains supposed occasionally to proceed from 

The most romantic dells are also pointed out as scenes of fairy 
resort, and distinguished by the term, " gentle places f beetling linen 
by the side of a rocky stream that murmurs through an unfrequented 
glen, is represented as a favourite, or rather common female fairy 
occupation, where they chaunt wild and pathetic melodies, beating 
time with their beetles. The herbs and plants, with which such 
glens abound, are considered as under fairy influence, and are 
collected, with many ceremonies, for charms, by cunning old women, 
termed " Fairy Doctors^'' or, sometimes, from their professed know- 
ledge of surgery, " Bone Setters.'' A confidence in superstitious 


quackery exists so strongly amongst the lower orders in Ireland, that 
many instances are known to me where patients have been carried 
a distance of several miles to a " Bone Setter j'' to whom a fee was 
given ; when they might have received, without removal, and free 
of expense, every attendance from the most skilful surgeons! " I 
would not, if all the doctors in Ireland told me so, treat the poor 
sufferer thus,'* is the prefatory sentence used by these " wise women/' 
" What do doctors know about sick people ? — but take the herbs 
which I shall give you, bury them at sun-set in the north-east corner 
of the fort-field, and when you return, tie a thread three times 
round the left-hand upper post of the sick person's bed, and let it 
remain there for nine nights,'' — &c. Camden, it would seem, had 
some faith in the efficacy of these " skilful women," who, " by 
means of charms," to use his own words, " gave more certain judg- 
ment of the disease than many of our physicians can." 

Fairies are represented as exceedingly diminutive in their stature, 
having an arch and malicious expression of countenance, and gene- 
rally habited in green, with large scarlet caps; hence the beautiful 
plant Digitalis Purpurea is named " Fairy Cap" by the vulgar^ 
from the supposed resemblance of its bells to this part of fairy dress. 
To the same plant, many rustic superstitions are attached, particu- 
larly its salutation of supernatural beings, by bending its long stalks 
in token of recognition. 

Old and soUtary thorns, in common with the digitalis, are re- 
garded with reverence by the peasantry, and considered as sacred to 
the revels of these eccentric little sprites, whose vengeance follows 
their removal. Any antique implement casually discovered by the 
labourer is referred to the fairies, and supposed to have been 
dropped or forgotten by them; small and oddly-shaped tobacco 
pipes, frequently turned up by the spade or the plough, the finder 
instantly destroys, to avert the evil agency of their former spiritual 
mvners. Amongst those remains may be noticed the flint arrow- 

M 2 


heads, said to be sportively shot at cattle, by the fi^iries; and in com- 
pliance with the popular superstition termed, even by antiquarians, 
" elf arrows/' 

The fairies are beUeved to visit the farm-houses in their district on 
particular nights, and the embers are collected, the hearth swept, 
and a vessel of water placed for their use before the family retire to 
rest Bat these dubious divinities seem to preside more especially 
over cattle, corn, fruits, and agricultural objects. Milking the cows, 
upsetting the dairy pans, and disarranging whatever may have been 
carefiilly placed in order, are amongst their mischievous proceed-* 
ings- Cluricaune or Leprehaune is the name given to the Irish 
Puck. The character of this goblin is a compound of that of the 
Scotch Brownie and the EngUsh Robin Good fellow. He is de- 
picted (for engraved portraits of the Irish Leprehaune are in exist- 
ence) as a small and withered old man, completely equipped in the 
costume of a cobler, and employed in repainn| a shoe. A para- 
gi-aph recently appeared in a Kilkenny paper stating, that a labourer, 
returning home in the dusk of the evening, discovered a Lepre- 
haune at work, from whom he bore away the shoe which he was 
mending; as a proof of the veracity of his story it was further 
stated, that the shoe lay for the inspection of the curious at the 
newspaper office. The most prominent feature in the vulgar creed 
respecting the Leprehaune is, his being the possessor of a purse, 
supposed to be, like that of Fortunatus, inexhaustible ; and many 
persons, who have surprized one of these fairies occupied in 
shoe-making, have endeavoured to compel him to deliver it ; this 
he has ingeniously avoided, averting the eye of his antagonist by 
some stratagem, when he disappears, which it seems he has not the 
power of doing as long as any person's gaze is fixed upon him. 

Fairy children, I have been assured, are frequently seen in lonely 
glens, engaged in mimic fights and juvenile gambols. A story, re- 
lated by Gervase of Tilbury, in the Otia Imperialia, and mentioned 


in the Miflstrdsy of the Scottish Border as current, with only slight 
variations, both in the highlands and lowlands of Scotland, is equally 
so in the south of Ireland, and is perhaps the most common of fairy 
fictions. A woman, who had been abstracted to nurse a young fairy, 
during her residence amongst the supernatural community, acci- 
dentally anointed one of her eyes with a substance entrusted to her 
for the use of her infant charge. On being emancipated from cap* 
tivity, the " good people" still remained visible to the eye which had 
been touched by the magic ointment, and hence she daily beheld 
them engaged (like the sylphs in Pope's Rape of the Lock) in their 
various fairy avocations. The woman, however, remained a silent 
spectator, until, happening tp recognise, sporting amongst others, the 
fairy child whom she had nursed, in all the delicate bloom and 
beauty of unearthly youth, her prudence forsook her, and, at the 
sight, she was betrayed by her feelings into an exclamation of 
delight; on hearing which, the young fairy approached his nurse, 
and inquired by what means she was conscious of his presence. — 
She pointed to the anointed eye, into which he instantly darted a 
spear that he held in his hand, and thus, by destroying the organ, 
shut out for ever the secrets of the invisible world from . the mortal 
eye to which they had been revealed. When a child appears deli- 
cate, or a young woman consumptive, the conclusion is, that they 
are carried oflF to be made a playmate or nurse to the young fairies, 
and that a substitute, resembling the person taken away, is deposited 
in their place, which gi-adually declines,, and ultimately dies. The 
inhuman means used by ignorant parents to discover if an unhealthy 
child be their offspring or - a changeling,* (the name given to the 

♦ '* From thence a fairy thee unweetmg reft^ 

There as thou slepst in tender swadling band,. 
And her base elfin brood there, for thee left : 
Such, men do changelings call, so chang'd by fairies theft."^ 

Fairy QueeUy^ Book I. 


illusitorj image,) is, placing the child, undressed, on the road side, 
where it is suflFered to lie a considerable time exposed to cold. After 
such ceremony, they conclude a natural disorder has caused the 
symptoms of decay; and the child is then treated with more tender- 
ness, from an idea, that had it been possessed by a fairy, that 
spirit would not have brooked such indignity, but made its escape. 
Paralytic aflfections are attributed to the same agency, whence the 
term " fairy struck/' and the same cruel treatment is observed 
towards aged persons thus afflicted. 

A pleasing ballad, by my friend Mr. Anster, has been founded 
on this superstition; the mother is supposed to speak. 

*' The summer sun was sinking 

With a mild light calm and mellow. 
It shone on my little boy's bonny cheeks. 
And his loose locks of yeDow. 

The robin was singing sweetly. 

And his song was sad and tender; 
And my little boy's eyes, as he heard the song. 

Smiled with a sweet soft splendour. 

My little boy lay on my bosom. 

While his soul the song was quaffing; 
The joy of his soul had ting'd his cheek. 

And his heart and his eye were laughing. 

I sat alone in my cottage. 

The midnight needle plying; 
I feared for my child, for the rush's light 

In the socket now was dying. 

There came a hand to my lonely latch. 

Like the wind at midnight moaning, 
I knelt to pray — ^but rose again — 

For I heard my little boy groaning ! 

I crossed my brow, and I crossed my breast. 

But that night my child departed ! 
They left a weakling in his stead, 

And I am broken-hearted! 

Chap.V. fairies and supeknatueal agency. 87 

Oh ! it canoot be my own sweet boy. 

For his eyes are dim and hollow. 
My little boy is gone to God, 

And his mother soon will follow. 

The dirge for the dead will be sung for me. 

And the mass be chaunted meetly ; 
And I will sleep with my little boy 

In the moon-light churchyard sweetly." 

Sometimes an intricate legal question arises in the case of a young 
woman being carried off by the fairies, and returning after an absence 
of several years, which is by no means uncommon, when she finds her 
husband married to a second wife. More than one instance of this 
unexpected re-appearance has come within my own knowledge, and 
I select the relation contained in a letter which I received during the 
present year, from its being the most recent case. — "The day before 
I left Island Bawn," says the writer, " I heard of an Irish Kilmeny, 
in the person of the wife of a labouring cottager, who, having died 
about twenty years since, and been buried with the usual ceremonies, 
the poor man allowed a reasonable period to elapse, and subse- 
quently took unto himself another helpmate, with whom he had 
since continued to live ; when one night last winter (1820), they were 
disturbed by a woman vociferously claiming admission into their 
cabin, and asserting her right to the full and undisturbed sovereignty 
of the same, inasmuch as she was the owner's true and lawful wife, 
whom he supposed deceased and interred, whereas she had only 
been with the fairies, from whose power she had now emancipated 
herself. So minute and clear (if not satisfactory) did she make out 
her title, that both the husband and his second spouse quailed before 
this unwelcomed visitant from the * good people.' The first wife 
allowed her ' locum tenens' to remain in the house while she behaved 
herself respectfully, and all went on smoothly for some time,- the 
stranger supporting the truth of her story by mysteriously telling the 


fortunes of those who flocked to see so wonderfiil a woman. Being/' 
continues the writer, " unable to pay her a visit myself, I requested 
a young lady who was staying at my sister's to do ^o, and who was 
much more qualified than I should have been to eUcit, if possible, 
the truth. With her usual kindness, she undertook the task ; and I 
cannot do better than copy her letter to my sister : — 

' Ballyhogan, 6tk January, 1821. 

' My dear Mrs. L. 

* In compliance with your brother's request, I have sat down 
to give you an account of my visit to the fairy woman. On Thurs- 
day morning last, having procured a guide to show me the way to 
her house, I departed on my mission, and, after a walk of about four 
miles, arrived at the little village of Castle Town, on the Shannon. 
" That white house younder, Miss, is the one the fortune-teller lives 
in,'' said my guide. I was readily admitted, and found the inside 
thronged with visitors, to whom the diviner talked in the common 
gipsy strain. Being more anxious to hear her own story than any 
thing she could tell me of myself, I asked her if the report 
respecting her having recendy returned from the fairies was correct. 
Her reply was, that she had been with the " good people'' many 
years, and, as a reward for her conduct while amongst them, 
they had bestowed the gift of fortune-telling. I then begged her 
to inform me of some further particulars ; and, after considerable 
hesitation on her part, and persuasion on mine, she gave me the 
following history, which I will recount verbatim, as highly illustrative 
of fairy superstition and Irish manners : — 

• My Father, whose name was Thady Donohoe, lived in a little 
place they call Mount Shannon, near Slain ; he was a shoemaker, 
and supported his family by his work until he lost his health through 
grief at my folly in not being led by his advice; and I'm sartin shure 
(certain sure, confident) I suffered all I did for going against my 
father ! He loved me bitter (better) than anyof his childer (children). 

Chap.V. fairies and supernatural agency, 89 

because he had no deaghter (daughter) but myself; and at eighteen he 

thought to get me married to a neighbour's son, who was a neat boy (a 

handsome fellow) ; and, indeed, not that I say it, I was a neat, cleapi 

skinned girl at that time, though I may deny it to-day ; but I was fond 

of a young man who was working as a labouring boy at a farmer's 

house handy by (adjacent). Well, when I tould (told) Paddy Doody, 

for that was my lover's name, what my father wished me to do, he said, 

if I did not run away with him, my father and my brothers would make 

me marry the other boy, and he should kill himself or go distracted *. 

so I went oflF with him shure enough (without hesitation), and we 

were married by his parish priest as soon as we came to Castle Town. 

I never saw my father till he was dying, which was about six months 

after : he gave me his blessing and a cow before he died. After the 

funeral I came back to my husband, and we lived very haflpily for 

four years. My eldest little boy died, and I was nursing my second, 

when one night, about Midsummer, as we were sitting at our supper, 

I was fairy struck, and fell off my chair. So mth /Aa/ (instantly), 

poor Paddy ran out for one of the neighbours, who desired him send 

for the priest, which he did to be shure (as a matter of course). But 

when he came, he did not know what to do, but said prayers over 

me, and anointed me for death ; and when the holy oil was put on 

me I was better, and continued to mend for several days, but I was 

still very weak and low ; I had an impression about (oppression on) 

the heart, and a dimness in my eyes, and a ringing in my ears, and 

my face was greatly altered. Well, one night after we all lay down 

to sleep, it was about twelve o'clock, I heard a great noise,, and saw 

a light in the room. I called Paddy, but he could not hear me. 

My little child was about three months old, and lay asleep by my 

side. In one minute the house was full of people, men and women, 

but no one saw them but myself; and one of the women came to 

the side of the bed, and said, " Judy, get up, you are to come with 

us, and I will put one in your place to nurse your child. So with 



that they dragged me out of bed, and put an old woman in my 
place, who took my cratur of a child (creature, a term of endear- 
ment) in her arms ! I thought I should die, but I could not speak 
a word. They took me oflF with them, and there were several horse- 
men with red caps outside the door, and the women who sat behind 
them on the horses had blue cloaks. There was a piper on a grey 
pony that led the way; and when I got to their dwelling I was 
given a child to nurse. I am not allowed to tell any thing that hap- 
pened while I was there, all I can say is that I never ate one mouth- 
ful of their food : if I did I never could have left them. I came 
every night to my own house for cold potatoes, and I lived on them. 
Paddy buried, as he thought, the old woman that was put in my 
place, but she came away to us. I am twenty years from home, and 
my hus|;>and is married again. This is my son's house. When I 
came home Paddy would not own me, but I soon made him simible 
(convinced him) I was his wife. I have suffered more than I can 
tell any one while I was with the " good people ;'* and I promised 
the Blessed Virgin, if she would release me, to do six months' pin- 
nance (penance) at a holy well in the King's County, where I am 
going next week ; if I live to return, my son will let me pass the 
rest of my days with him should my husband not allow me.' " 

Dr. Neilson gives us, with every appearance of authenticity, a 
more intricate matrimonial case than the foregoing, where the woman, 
on her return from Fairyland, finding her first husband married, 
marries again herself The second wife of the first husband dies, 
and he, having discovered his former spouse, claims her ; but her 
second husband being unwilling to part with her, denies the claim. 
The question is referred to an ecclesiastical tribunal, where fairy 
agency will not be acknowledged, and which, under conflicting 
testimony, is unable to determine the matter. It, however, ultimately 
terminates in the friendly arrangement, " That both doors of the 
woman's second husband's house should be set open ; that Joyce (her 


former husband) should stand seven steps from the street-door, and 
Thady, in the garden, seven steps from the back-door; that she 
should take her choice, and abide by it thenceforward/' — " The 
child was sleeping in the cradle, and as Mary was about to depart 
she went to the child to take leave of it and shed a tear. She went 
then towards the street-door, when she heard the child cry after her; 
presently she returned, and remained without murmuring or uneasi- 
ness with Thady Hughes till her death." 

A curious spirit, and one I believe peculiar to Ireland, is the /; ^ j 
Banshee, or White Fairy, sometimes called She Frogh, or the House ' ^ '11^ — 
Fairy. The derivation of both these names appears to me obvious /^^ 0/ [^^i^ 
from the credulous personification, that of a small and shrivelled old 
woman with long white hair, supposed to be peculiarly attached to 
ancient houses or families, and to announce the approaching disso^ 
lution of any of the members by mournful lamentations. This fairy 
attendant is considered as highly honourable, and in part of an elegy 
on one of the knights of Kerry, still extant, the family Banshee is 
introduced as deploring, with wailing accents, the knight's impending 
fate; when every trader at Dingle who hears the strain becomes 
alarmed lest it should forebode his own death ; but the bard assures 
them, with an air of humorous sarcasm, they have no cause for 
iineasiness, such warning being given only to those of illustrious 
descent. , . 

Another species of Irish fairy is the Phooka, the descriptions given /- ' *^ ^ • - ^- 
of which are so visionary and undefined it is impossible to reduce ^''^ ?k )w^^ 

them to detail. The name of many lonely rocks and glens in Ire- _ 

land declares them sacred to this spirit. In the county Cork there ''' i^n 

are two castles called Carrig Phooka, or the Phooka's Rock, one near 
Doneraile, the other not far from Macroom; and in the county 
Wicklow, the celebrated waterfall of Poula Phooka, or the Phooka's 
Cavern, is well known. 

Notwithstanding the universal belief in fairy influence, the credence 

N 2 


given to witchcraft amongst the vulgar Irish is by no means propor- 
tionate. Some few instances are historically preserved, but, consi- 
dering the extent and reputation which witchcraft obtained during the 
reigns of Elizabeth and James I. in England, these may be viewed as 
imported rather than primitive superstitions. The admirable account 
of Moll White given in the Spectator presents a collection of the 
popular notions respecting the sorcery of old women ; and those 
who are inclined to investigate the subject further may find some 
some hundred volumes written upon it. 

The most remarkable Irish witch on record is Dame Alice Ketyll 
(whose history is to be found at length in Camden). Amongst the 
charges made against her, when examined in 1325, was the sacri- 
ficing nine red cocks to her familiar spirit or imp, named Robyn 
Artysson, " at a stone bridge in a certaine foure crosse high-way." 
" Item, that she swept the streets of Kilkenny with beesomes between 
Complin and Courefew, and in sweeping the filth towards the house 
of William Utlaw her sonne, by way of conjuring uttered these 
words : 

Unto the house of William, my sonne. 
Hie all the wealth of Kilkenny town." 

And, amongst " the goods and implements of the said Alice, there 
was a certain holy wafer cake found, having the name of the divell 
imprinted upon it; there was found also a boxe, and within it an 
ointment, wherewith she used to besmear or grease a certain piece of 
wood called coultree, which, being thus anointed, the said Alice, 
with her complices, could ride and gallop upon the said coultree 
whithersoever they would, all the world over, through thick and thin, 
without either hurt or hindrance.'* These things, we are told, were 
notorious, and dame Ketyll, to avoid punishment, escaped to 
England ; but one of her accomphces, Pemill or Parnell, was burned 
at Kilkenny, who avouched . that Alice's son William " deserved 


death as well as herself, affirming that he, for a year and a day, 
wore the divelFs girdle upon his bare bodie/' Kilkenny seems to 
have been peculiarly fatal to witches.. In October, 1578^ Cox 
relates that Sir William Drury, the Lord Deputy, caused thirty-six 
criminals to be executed there, " one of which was a blackamoor, 
and two others were witches, and were copdemned by the law of 
nature, for there was no positive law against witchcraft in those 

Some more recent account of witches is traditionally preserved 
in Ireland, particularly of Nanny Steer, whose malign glance pro- 
duced madness, and the malady of many a wretched lunatic, who 
wandered about the country, was attributed to her baneful influence. 

In the Queen's county a young man, named Rutlidge, on the day 
of his marriage, is said to have become a victim to one of these 
dreadful looks, from his having neglected to invite Nanny Steer to 
the wedding — who appeared an unbidden guest, and casting an evil 
eye on the bridegroom, he immediately became a maniac. 

" In no case,'' says Camden, speaking of Irish superstitions, 
" must you praise an horse or any other beast, until you say, * God 
save him,' or unless you spit upon him. If any harm befall the 
horse within three dayes after, they seeke him that praised him, that 
he may mumble the Lord's Prayer in his right eare. They think 
that there bee some that bewitch their horses with looking upon 
them, and then they use the help of some old hagges, who, saying a 
few prayers with a loud voice, make them well again." This belief 
in the fatal effects of an evil eye is as prevalent at the present day as 
when Camden wrote ; and few, if any, of the lower orders will speak 
to or of a child without spitting out, and excusing himself, should a 
superior be present, with — " It's for good luck sure." — " And God 
bless the boy, and make a fine man of him." So powerful is this 
superstition that even people of education and above the ordinary 
rank, are obliged, from policy, to accommodate themselvfcs to it in 


their intercourse with the peasantry, as few things are considered 
more dangerous and unfriendly, or are longer remembered, than the 
omission of such ceremony. 

Another vulgar superstition regarding witches, is, their power of 
assuming the shape of some insect or animal — the most favourite 
forms are those of a fly or a hare ; under the latter disguise they are 
supposed to suck the teats of cows, and thus either deprive them of 
their milk or communicate an injurious effect to it. 

Of the following story numberless variations are in circulation 
amongst the Irish peasantry. A herdsman having wounded a hare 
which he discovered sucking one of the cows under his care, tracked 
it to a solitary cabin, when he found an old woman smeared with 
blood and gasping for breath, extended almost Ufeless on the floor, 
having, it is presumed, recovered her natural shape. 

In churning, should not the milk readily become butter, the ma- 
chinations of some witch are suspected. As a test, the iron coulter 
of the plough is heated in the fire, and the witches name solemnly 
pronounced, with the following charm, on whom this spell is sup- 
posed to inflict the most excruciating tortures, — 

Come batter, come, 
Come butter, come, 
Peter stands at the gate 
Waiting for a buttered cake. 
Come butter, come. 

And if the milk has lost its good qualities by means of incantations, 
it immediately turns to excellent butter. 

In the sixteenth century the same opinion existed in Ireland, 
somewhat tinged with a relic of Pagan or Druidical rites, fire being 
considered, before the introduction of Christianity, the immediate 
representative of the Deity, and the first of May as peculiarly sacred 
to these rites, many relics of which may still be discovered. 


" They take her for a wicked woman and a witch, whatever she 
be, that commeth to fetch fire from them on May-day, (neither will 
they give any fire then, but unto a sicke body, and that with a curse,) 
for because they thinke the same woman will, the next summer, 
steale away all their butter. If they finde an hare amongst their 
heards of cattell on the said May-day, they kill her, for they suppose 
shee is some old trot, that would filch away their butter. They are 
of opinion that their butter, if it be stoUen, will soone after bee 
restored SEigaine, in case they take away some of the thatch that 
hangeth over the doore of the house, and cast it into the fire/' 

Amongst some Irish manuscripts in my possession, the composi- 
tion, I apprehend, of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there 
is a long description, possessing considerable poetic merit, of a con- 
test between Eogan and " Conn of the Hundred Batdes," part of 
which presents a picture of the appearance of some supernatural 
hags to the contending chieftains the night previous to the engage- 
ment ; the translation is extremely literal. 

" When Eogan came back from the council, three witches stood 
before him ; frightful beyond description, with red and fiery-looking 
eyes, and long, lank, grizzly hair hanging down dishevelled over 
cadaverous countenances. The eye-brows of these fiends were large, 
rough, and grim, growing into each other and forming two curva- 
tures of matted bristles. Their cheeks were hollow, shrivelled, and 
meagre ; and their beaked noses, covered with parched skin, issued 
forth prominently from the deeply-wrinkled and knobby foreheads 
of these monstrous and filthy she-devils! — ^Their blasting tonguea 
with flippant volubility held ceaseless gabble, and their crooked yellow 
hairy hands and hooked fingers resembled more the talons of an eagle 
or foul-feeding harpy, than the fingers of a human creature. Thus, 
supported by small inbent and bony legs, they stood before Eogan. 

" Whence come ye, fiiries ? asked the chief. 

" We come from afar by our powers, replied they. 


'^ I demand to know your powers ? said Eogan, leader of the 
mighty bands. 

. ^^ We cause the sea to run higher than the mountain tops by our 
breath ; we bring snow on the earth by the nodding of our white 
heads ; we spread flames in dwellings by our words ; we alter and 
change the shape of every person, nay of those in our own occupa- 
tion, by the rolling of our eyes ; we 

Enough! cried the mighty Eogan. I now demand your names ? 
Our names, returned the hags, are Ah, Lann and Leana; we are 
daughters of Trodan the magician, and we have come from remote 
countries to warn you of your approaching death. — For Eogan shall 
fall by the keen-edged and bone-cleaving sword of the ever-victorious 
* Conn of the Hundred Battles.' 

" On your own heads may this prophetic warning light, ye hags 
of hell, returned Eogan ; may your forebodings of Conn sink into 
nothing on the air, and be unanswered by the voices of the moun- 
tains. May the trees bear the brunt of your evil words, the venoni 
of your lips fall harmless on the rocks of the valley, and your malice 
be given to the waves of the ocean. 

" It is inevitable destiny we speak, said they. — We have spoken 
without precipitation or without reward; and muttering of their horrid 
spells they vanished from Eogan. 

" That night came the same three hags to the tent of the King of 
Spain's son, and they boded ill to him ; and thence they came where 
the hostes of Conn of the Hundred Batdes lay incamped, and they 
roused that hero with these words : — 

" In thy arm be thy strength ; in thy sword be thy safety ; in thy 
face be thy foes; in thy strides thy prosperity. — ^The pride of Ireland 
is against thee, in life and in motion. Be thou restless as the 
treacherous Ught that gleams to benighted travellers.''* 

* This sentence, perhaps, may be more spiritedly translated in familiar language — ** Be 
thou here, there, and every where, like the Will o' the Wisp." 


In the preceding part of the same poem the support and assistance 
received by Eogan and his tribe from a sorceress named Eadoin, is 
mentioned ; who, in a former engag^nent^ so fascinated the eyes of 
Eogan^s adversaries by her enchantments, that some rocks on the 
field of battle assumed the appearance of formidable bodies of armed 
men ; and while GoU and the sons Moime, with their valiant asso- 
ciates, attacked these flinty phantoms, and were occupied in contest 
with invulnerable and senseless stones, the sorceress conveyed the 
unwilling Eogan and his followers from the scene of warfare, and 
embarked them for Spain. " The rock,'' adds an English note on 
this passage of the manuscript, " which was converted into the re- 
semblance of Eogan and his troops, is, at this day, called the Scalped 
Rock — in Irish, * Cloch Bhearrha,' — in Glean Rogh, near Kin-mare, 
from the indenture made in it by the arms of Goll, which were 
shivered and broken into pieces thereon." 

As in England, a worn horseshoe nailed on the threshold, or near 
the entrance of a house, is considered as a security against witchcraft, 
but this remedy is used only in the better description of cabins. 

Many of the ancient Irish chieftains have received deification, and 
the credulous believe in their frequent re-appearance on earth as the 
messengers of good tidings, such as a fine season or an abundant 
harvest. Other shades are compelled to perform certain penitential 
ceremonies in expiation of crimes committed during life; of the latter 
may be mentioned an Earl of Kildare, doomed to ride septennially 
found the Curragh (an extensive common) until the silver shoes of 
his supernatural steed are worn out. To the former class belongs 
O'Donoghue, a chief of much celebrity, whose May-day visit on a 
milk white horse, gliding over the lake of Killarney, to the sound of 
unearthly music, and attended by troops of spirits scattering deli^ 
cious spring flowers, has been lyrically preserved by Mr. Moore, and 
is accurately recorded in a poem by Mr. Leslie on Killarney, and 
in Mr. Weld's account of that Lake, as also in Derrick's Letters, 



Inhere some additional particulars may be found from the pen of 
Mr. Ockenden.*— " There is a farmer now alive/' says that gentle- 
man, ^^ who declares, as I am told, that riding one evening near the 
lower end of the Lake he was overtaken by a gentleman, who seemed 
under thirty years of age, very handsome in his person, very sumptuous 
in his apparel, and very affable in conversation. After having tra- 
velled for some time together, the nobleman (for such he judged him, 
by his appearance, to be) observed, that as night was approaching, the 
town far off, and lodging not easy to be found, he should be welcome 
to take a bed that night at his house, which he said was not very 
distant. The invitation was readily accepted, they approached the 
Lake together, and both their horses moved upon the surface without 
sinking, to the infinite amazement of the farmer, who thence per- 
ceived the stranger to be no less a person than the great O'Donoghue. 
They rode a considerable distance from shore, and then descended 
to a delightful country under water, and lay that night in a house 
much larger in size and much more richly furnished than even Lord 
Kenmare's at Killamey." 

Second sight, so common in the Highlands, I believe is unknown 
in the South of Ireland. Story relates a mysterious appearance of 
stars, accompanied by heavy groans, that preceded the landing of 
the rival monarchs William and James, seen by " one Mr. Hamble- 
ton, of Tollymoore, a justice of the peace in his county, and a 
sober, rational man ;'' in company with others who were journeying 
towards Dundalk; adding, " They have a great many tales of this 
kind in Ireland, and the Inniskilling men tell you of several such 
things before their battles.'' I should, however, consider these 
visions, on account of their northern limits, as derived from Scot- 
land, and not genuine Irish superstitions. 

I fear it may be considered that I have dwelt too long upon, and 

• Member for Great Marlow, 1760. 

Chap-V. fairies and supernatural agency. 99 

entered too minutely into the notions of the ignorant; but early asso- 
ciations have tempted me to linger over these marvellous relations, 
and have, perhaps, misled my maturer judgment. 

'' Such fancies are the coinage of the brain. 
Which oft rebellious to more sober thought 
Will these strange phantoms shape ; the idle prate 
Of fools and nurses, who in infant minds 
Plant such mishapen stuff, the scorn and scoff 
Of settled reason and of common sense !" 

On the whole, from what may be collected, the present state of 
Irish superstition closely resembles that of England during the age 
of Elizabeth; a strong proof of the correct measurement of those 
who have stated a space of two centuries to exist between the relative 
degree of popular knowledge and civilization attained by the sister 




Old father Mole, (Mole hight that mountain gray 
That walls the north side of Armulla dale,) 
He had a daughter fresh as flower of May 
Which gave that name unto that pleasant vale ; 
MuUa, the daughter of old Mole so hight. 
The nymph which of that water-course has charge. 
That, springing out of Mole, doth run downright 
To Buttevant, where spreading forth at large. 
It giyeth name unto that ancient city 
Which Kilnemullah cleeped is of old. 
Whose cragged mines hreed greath ruth and pity 
To travellers, which it from far behold !" 


Ch ARLEviLLE is a poor town on the borders of the county Limerick, 
and contains many wretched cabins. It was incorporated, through 
the interest of the first Earl of Orrery, Lord President of Munster, 
in the reign of Charles II., who gave it, in compUment to that mo- 
narch, the name of Charleville, being called before, to use his lord- 
ship's own expression, " by the heathenish one of Rathgogan." 

Lord Orrery held his presidential court here ; and possibly in imi- 
tation of the example of his predecessor Sir Wilham St. Leger, at 


Doneraile, built the parish church, enclosed an extensive park, and 
erected a noble mansion, described by Story as " one of the second 
rate houses of these kingdoms,*' which suffered a fate similar to that 
built by Sir William, being burned in 1690 by a party of James II/s 
troops, under the command of the Duke of Berwick, who, having 
dined there, ordered it, in the most wanton manner, to be set on fire, 
and remained to see it reduced to ashes. John Exham, the pro* 
phetic quaker, hereafter mentioned as the religious associate of 
William Penn, is reported to have predicted this destruction. A 
large company, on some particular occasion, was assembled at Lord 
Orrery's, when Exham, with a great crowd of his enthusiastic 
followers, stood before the door of that nobleman's house, and ex- 
horted the guests to repentance, denouncing the judgment of the 
Lord upon them, should they not comply, and predicting ruin on 
the scene of their festivity, which should become an habitation for 
the fowls of the air. 

The Earl's servants, supposing Exham mad, attempted to drive 
him from the place, but Lord Orrery interfered, commanding 
them to let the honest man speak. Exham, having concluded his 
harangue, went away, but in a short time returned, and calUng the 
Earl aside, said to him, '' Because thou hast been kind and loving 
to the servant of the Lord, the evil shall pot be in thy days f the 
event verified his words, and not a little contributed to raise the cha- 
racter of Exham as a prophet 

A resident of Charleville, who appeared well versed in local history , 
related, with exceeding minuteness, an account of the conflagration 
as traditionally preserved; and respecting the education of the poor, 
gave us the gratifying information, that notwithstanding the neglected 
and inconsiderable appearance of the town, no less than 300 boys 
and 400 girls were at present pupils in the poor school. 

Within a short distance of Charleville are the ruins of an old 
church, called Ballyslough, which we visited ; and having loitered 


about the cemetery, we were departing, when a decently dressed man 
came up, and seeing our sketch books, observed, there was little 
worth our notice in the churchyard, except that " one McDonald the 
poet was interred there;'* after some search we found his grave, 
cleared away the concealing nettles, and I transcribed the almost 
defaced inscription on a small stone that marked the narrow bed of 
this unknown bard. 

L 5. S. 
Johanes McDonald cogno 
minatus C/^ji^^ vir vere 
Catholicus et quihus Unguis 
omatus nempe Graca Latina 
et Hybernica nan .Vulgaris 
Ingenii poeta tumulatur 
ad kunc Cippum obiit JEt€tti8 
Anno 63 Salutis 1754 
Reqmescat in pace. 

In addition to the particulars mentioned in his epitaph, all I could 
learn respecting McDonald was, that he made a translation of Homer 
into Irish ; and probably, from the appellative Clarah, or Minstrel, 
being in the Irish character, his poetical compositions were in that 

When at Mallow, I obtained an Irish MS. written by " Shane 
Clarah,*' or " John the minstrel." It is a small thick quarto of 
about 400 pages, and the contents are chiefly topographical; 
from this MS. I have made some quotations in the present work. 

Crossing the Ballyhoura mountains towards Doneraile, tlie huts 
of the peasantry had so cheerless and deplorable an aspect as to 
awaken a thousand painful ideas. In the smoke and dirt of an Irish 
cabin, there is a great and positive want of comfort; yet, on 
observing the neglected means by which the labouring classes might 
improve their condition, it would almost lead to the belief that they 

Chap. VI. AND. BUTTEV ANT. 103 

are happier in their own way than they could be made by any 
innovation. Much censure has been thrown upon absentee land- 
holders, whom I will not vindicate; but there seems to be an inherent 
spirit of indolence and obstinacy in the lower order of Irish, which 
even the presence of their lord would with difficulty overcome, that 
thus enables them to live without any apparent notion of comfort or 
even common decency. They seem indeed to feel some degree of 
pride in being destitute of wants, and evidently prefer the exclusion 
of light from their dwellings. When a window of a foot square has 
been made by their landlord, they usually close it up with turf, 
boards, or rags, leaving perhaps a strip of an inch broad ; in many 
instances it is closed entirely, and the only light admitted is by the 
ddor, to which the women bring their needle work or spinning, on 
rare occasions of industry when they can forsake the fascinating 
smoke of their turf fires. They are consequentiy exposed to the 
weather, and have to rise whenever any inmate requires to pass, or 
when the pig (who considers himself lord of the mansion) chooses to 
alter his position ; but " it just does well enough sure— it answered 
our fathers before us why/' They will even defend the filthy practice 
of having these apimals constantly in their dwelUngs. I recollect 
once trying to convince a man that he might with very Uttie trouble 
improve the state of his cabin, by building a shed for his pig and 
banishing him the chimney comer; but he coolly answered, " Sure 
then and who has a better right to be in it ? Isn't he the man of the 
house ? and isn't it he that will pay the rent?" 

Most cabins have a small patch of ground attached, where potatoes 
and winter cabbages are the only vegetables cultivated. An Irish 
labourer has no idea of planting a bush, or fruit tree, or of raising a 
flower ; and his ignorance renders him too stubbom to make trial of 
improved agricultural implements. The beneficial effects of Baronial 
Farming Societies, formed under the Cork Institution, are, however,, 
obvious in many districts of the southern counties. 


Doneraile is twelve miles distant irom Charlevillej and was 
described as a neat village; the residence of Viscount Doneraile, 
whose mansion, surrounded by a park of considerable extent, is close 
to the village, and said to be worth seeing ; we were unable to judge 
of this fact, the porter at the park gate pleading his lordship's positive 
orders to admit no strangers. This was the only occasion on which 
we met with difficulty in seeing any gentleman's grounds, though not 
personally acquainted with the owner. After exploring the unpic- 
turesque and miserable town we returned to our dirty inn. It being 
the 19th of July, his Majesty's coronation was celebrated by illumi- 
nations, which, considering the poverty of the place, were very respec- 
table. Every window, even those of the meanest cabins, added their 
mite towards the general display of rush lights; but a smart shower of 
rain about ten o'clock dispersed the crowd of admiring peasantry, 
some of whom had walked many miles to witness this litde jubilee. 
This display- of loyalty accorded well with the history of the 
St. Legers, maternal ancestors to the present noble proprietor of 
Doneraile, a family distinguished in Irish history for their active and 
persevering support of the English interest, and faithful discharge of 
the trust reposed in them by that government, which was justly 
rewarded by titles and considerable estates. Sir Anthony St. 
Leger, one of the commissioners sent over for arranging the afiairs of 
Ireland by Henry VIII. in 1537, was the founder of the family in 
Ireland ; and so satisfied was Henry with his conduct as commissioner, 
that three years after he was appointed to the important office of Lord 
Deputy. Under his administration, and chiefly through his exertions, 
an act was passed that may be said to have laid the foundation of 
the Union between the Sister Islands. 

Since the conquest, of Ireland by Henry II., the English monarchs 
had been only styled Lords of Ireland, but in 1541, a statute was 
enacted declaring Henry VIII. and his successors Kings of that 

Chap.VL and buttevant. 105 

The change of title immediately appeared on Henry's Irish coinage, 
remarkable from being impressed with the earliest known represen- 
tation of the harp, as symbohc of Ireland; since which time that 
instrument has been preserved as the national arms, an emblem at 
once complimentary and judiciously selected, that, to use the words 
of a celebrated antiquary, " neither reminds us of our present depen- 
dence, nor upbraids us with our former rebeHions." 

Amongst the important services rendered by Sir Anthony St. Leger 
to the English cause, may be enumerated the inducing Con O'Neil 
(who still retained the dignity of a prince) to repair to England, and 
formally receive his possessions from the King at Greenwich, who 
conferred on him the title of Earl of Tyrone : his example was soon 
followed by other Iriish chieftains. Through the exertions of Sir 
Anthony, the lords of most of the Irish clans, and such of the English 
settlers as had become naturalized, made a formal submission to 
the English government; and kneeling at the Lord Deputy's feet 
without their girdles, skeins, and caps, acknowledged Henry as their 
" only true and liege lord,'' being the fourth general declaration of 
the Irish to the same effect. 

At the instance of Sir Anthony, many statutes were likewise 
enacted, and officers appointed to carry them into effect, a measure 
intended to subvert the Brehon, or Druidical laws, and compel the 
Irish to relinquish their primitive customs, and assimilate to Enghsh 
manners. The attachment, however, of all nations to usages sanc- 
tioned by antiquity, and laws that have descended from their fore- 
fathers, is too deeply rooted to be destroyed at pleasure ; and, when 
a stigma is thrown upon peculiarities, they are often preserved with an 
inflexible obstinacy, proportioned to the rigor of the measures u&ed 
for their suppression. Lenient and conciliating proceedings alone are 
capable of overcoming national prejudices, that resist any sudden, or 
apparent innovation, with a proud and sullen perversity. 

In 1544, Sir Anthony St. Leger raised a troop of 700 Irish, by 



order of Henry VIII., to assist at the siege of Boulogne ; these men, 
we are told, mustered tinder the command of Lord Poer in St. James's 
Park, from whence they proceeded to Boulogne, where, according to 
Hollinshed, they performed good service. 

A political dispute having arisen between Lord Ormond and Sir 
Anthony St. Leger, they, according to the practice of the times, 
mutually accused each other of high treason, and were consequently 
both summoned to England, where, on an investigation before the 
council, their charges proved to be of so trivial a nature, that a recon- 
ciliation followed, and Sir Anthony returned to Dublin as Lord 
Deputy. Soon after, he was again impeached by the Archbishop of 
Dublin, but being acquitted once more arrived in Ireland on the 11th 
November, 1553, as Lord Deputy to Queen Mary, having held that 
office under two preceding reigns; but, to use Campion's phraseology, 
" sundry noblemen pelted and lifted at Sir Anthony, till they 
shouldered him out of all credit;'' and being recalled from Ireland he 
closed his days in domestic retirement. His son, SirWarham St.-Leger, 
who served as sheriff of the county of Kent, and had been knighted 
for his conduct in that office, ten years after the recal of his father, 
received the appointment of Chief Governor of Munster, under the 
Lord Deputy Sidney, who strongly commended the zeal and watch- 
fulness displayed by Sir Warham, in the suppression of a con- 
tinental intrigue that stimulated the Irish chieftains to rebellion. 

In 1580, Sir Warham was invested by commission with the power 
of executing martial law, which, jointly with Sir Walter Raleigh, he 
first carried into effect at Cork, on Sir James of Desmond, whom 
they condemned to be hanged and quartered as a rebel. After many 
services against the disaffected Irish, Sir Warham, in February, 1599, 
riding with a few attendants about a mile out of Cork, was attacked 
by Hugh Mac Guire, the leader of a small body of rebels, whom he 
shot, but Mac Guire wounded Sir Warham so severely in the head, 
that he died soon after ; and his son. Sir William, as a return for 
the services both of his father and grandfather, was created Lord 


President of Munster by Charles I. in 1627, who at the same time 
bestowed on him considerable possessions, in addition to the six thou- 
sand acres of the Earl of Desmond's forfeited lands granted to his 

During the contentions of 1641, Sir William sustained the double 
character of statesman and soldier with considerable credit to himself, 
end his personal actions afforded fine examples to the men under his 
command. One anecdote related of him deserves niention : when 
his little army was lying at Kildorary, in expectation of an attack 
from the Irish forces under Lord Montgarret, having suffered much 
fatigue and privation, and being without tents or shelter of any kind 
to protect them from the inclemency of the weather, a young officer, 
observing Sir William stretched on the bare ground under a heavy 
fall of snow, presented his cloak to him, and requested that he would 
use it. The Lord President thanked him, but nobly declined his 
offer, adding that he stood more in need of it himself, being less accus- 
tomed to the hardships of a soldier's life. . 

Devoted to the unfortunate Charles, in whose cause his eldest son 
fell at the battle of Newbury, Sir William thus expresses himself in 
a letter to Lord Ormond, a short time before his death. " It grieves 
me beyond any earthly sorrow for the great distance and difference 
betwixt his majesty and the parliament ; and if all the measures of the 
times, joined with my long and violent sickness, were not of force to 
subject me to the grave, yet the sorrow for these unhappy variances 
would crack a much stronger heart than your servant hath now left 
in him.'' 

There is much to admire in the character of Sir William St. Leger : 
surrounded by contentions and temptations, his principles remained 
unshaken ; and his bravery in the field was only surpassed by his 
pacific disposition and impartial administration of justice. Ambition 
by him was sacrificed to gratitude, and incapable of supporting the 
royal cause by his unaided efforts, he became a martyr to it. 



Doneraile was the principal residence of this illustrious man, who 
held his presidential court here, and built the parish church, together 
with a mansion which was burned by the Irish in 1645. As the town 
possessed little to detain us, we set out from thence, immediately 
after breakfast, on an excursion to Kilcolman, the residence of the 
poet Spencer. We were told it was the first ruined castle to be seen 
from the mail coach road to Charleville, and following this direction, 
bent our steps towards an old tower called Carrig Phooky (or the 
Spirit's Rock), which appeared in view immediately after leaving 
Doneraile; but, discovering our mistake, regained the Charleville 
road, and, after about an hour's walk, arrived at the object of our 

Kilcolman Castle is distant three English miles from Doneraile, 
and is seated in as unpicturesque a spot as at present could have 
been selected. Many of the delightful and visionary anticipations 
I had indulged, from the pleasure of visiting the place where the 
Fairy Queen had been composed, were at an end on beholding 
the monotonous reality of the country. Corn fields, divided from 
pasturage by numerous intersecting hedges, constituted almost the 
only variety of feature for a considerable extent around ; and the 
mountains bounding the prospect, partook even in a greater degree 
of the same want of variety in their forms. The ruin itself stands on 
a little rocky eminence. Spreading before it lies a tract of flat and 
swampy ground, through which, we were informed, the " River 
Bregog hight'' had its course, and though in winter, when swoln by 
mountain torrents, a deep and rapid stream, its channel at present 
was completely dried up, 

*' Sometimes^ misguided by the tuneful throng, 
I look for 8tream3 immortalized in song, 
That lost in silence and oblivion lie ; 
Dumb are their fountains and their channels dry.'* 

Judging from what remains, the original form of Kilcolman was 

: I i 

t, ^ 



Chap. VI. < AND buttevant. 109 

an oblong square, flanked by a tower at the south-east corner. The 
apartment in the basement story has still its stone arched rOof entire, 
and is used as a shelter for cattle ; the narrow screw-like stairs of the 
tower are nearly perfect, and lead to an extremely smiall chamber, 
which we found in a state of complete desolation. On ascending 
the highest point, I observed the word Mull a deeply scratched over 
an arched recess by some sentimental visitor who has thus partially 
realised the concluding wish of that topographer to whom so many 
writers are indebted for their account of Kilcolman : " Pity it is,'' 
says Smith, " that some friendly stone, which might be placed at a 
small expense in the ruin of the castle, does not point out its (once) 
immortal inhabitant/' The correct Dr. Smith seems to have been 
inspired with a poetic spirit, and deviated from his usual antiquarian 
accuracy in' describing the abode of Spencer, so far as to tell us that 
Kilcolman Castle " is now almost level with the ground, and was 
situated on the noith side of a fine lake in the midst of a large plain, 
commanding a view of above half the breadth of Ireland." 

Since the foregoing account was written, this ruin has braved the 
storm of more than seventy winters ; and that its walls have still some 
stateliness, the annexed drawing will prove. The " fine lake" men- 
tioned, I presume must have been an inundation of the River Bre- 
gogue ; and the " view of above half the breadth of Ireland," a 
prospect certainly not exceeding fifteen miles ! 

I consider Dr. Smith's County Histories as the best authorities, 
and yet in this instance it is difficult to reconcile what I saw with 
his account of Kilcolman, particularly as that author writes as if he 
had carefully examined its lake ; he tells us, that " the country peo- 
ple use the water to cure warts," in common with " another lake in 
the neighbourhood, called Lough Au UUa, which, they say, has 
better success ; but there seems to be a good deal of superstition ia 
those sort of cures, as I could discover nothing in the water whereby 
they might be effected." 


Kilcoltnan was granted by Queen Elizabeth, on the 27th June, 
1586, to Spencer (who went into Ireland as secretary to Lord Grey), 
with 3,028 acres of land, at the rent of 17/- Ss. 6d. ; on the same 
conditions with the other undertakers (as they were termed) between 
whom the forfeited Desmond estate was divided. These conditions 
implied a residence on the ground, and their chief object seems to 
have been the peopling Munster with English families; a favourite 
project of Elizabeth's, for strengthening the English influence in 
Ireland, by creating the tie of consanguinity between the two 

It is supposed that this castle was the principal residence of 
Spencer for about ten years, during which time he composed the 
works that have chiefly contributed to his fame. But the turbulent 
and indignant spirit of the Irish regarded not the haunts of the muse 
as sacred, and wrapped the poet's dwelling in flames. An infant 
child of Spencer's, together with his most valuable property, were 
consumed, and he returned into England; where, dejected and 
broken-hearted, he died soon after, at an inn in King Street, West- 

The visits of Sir Walter Raleigh to Spencer at Kilcolman increase 
the interest attached to the place, and are not in the slightest degree 
questionable. To the advice of Raleigh the publication of the first 
books of the Fairy Queen has been ascribed ; and the existence of a 
poetical intercourse between such minds, and in such distracting 
scenes, is a delightful recollection that almost warms the heart into 

Amongst the literary pilgrims whose veneration for Spencer has 
prompted them to examine Kilcolman was the celebrated Edmund 
Burke ; nor should the imprudent and enthusiastic Trotter be for- 
gotten ; the account given by him of his visits, in 1817, are very 
pleasing, though highly tinged with that fanaticism to which he 
ultimately became a victim. 

Chap.VL and buttevant. Ill 

Dr. Smith informs us, (1750) that there was " an original painting, 
well executed, of the poet Spencer'' at Castle Saffron, one mile east 
of Doneraile, where Mr. Trotter, in 1817> commenced his inquiries 
respecting this interesting relic, and received the same answer as was 
given me two years before — ^that it had been removed. Soon after, 
Mrs. Stawell of Kilbrack hinted to Mr. Trottef the possibility of 
the picture having been carried to Limerick ; and immediately on 
his arrival there, he continued the search after it amongst a collec- 
tion of paintings belonging to Alderman Vincent, " but we sought,'' 
says that gentleman, " the bard of Kilcolman in vain." 

In the Anthologia Hibemia, (Vol. I. for 1793,) a correspondent 
(whom, from the signature, I take to have been one of the Ouseley 
family of Limerick,) writes thus : " I have heard that, within a few 
years, a lineal descendant and namesake .of the poet Spencer* was 

* I have been favoured by a gentleman with the following fragment of the Spencer 
genealogy, extracted from the Herald's College, in Dublin : — 

£DMUifD Spbncir, ==: David Nagli, of sfsELLZw, d. of William 


ofKiloolinaii,Co.Cork, 1 Moneammney, Co. 

the Poet; ob. 1598. Cork; ob.Nov.l637. 

Roche, of Ballyhow- 
ley, Co. Cork. 


cxB,8onaiidbeir. I eldestdaughter. Robert Grace, of Sd dangjiter. Leambarj, Co. of Flemingstown, dd daughter. 

Courtstown and £le- Cork. Co. Cork, 

anor Condon. 

ir. el 

EnxvifD Spbucbr, William Spbvcbr, 
eldtson,liTingl657. 2d son, living 1637. 

n:: z , — 7"^r-z z ttt, — :; — r 


Richard Nacle,:b£llek, d. of Rich. Jambs Naolb, sss Ellzn, d. of John Garrzt Naglb, 
of Monevninmey, Barry, of Raha- f d son. Lacy, of Atlycagh, 3d son, a capt. of 

son and heir. nyskie, Co. Cork. Co. limerick. horse in the £mp. 

Ferdinand's service, 

" It does not appear what became of Spencer's wife and children. Two sons are said 
to have survived him> Sylvanus and Peregrine ; Sylvanus married Ellen Nangle or Nagle« 
eldest daughter of David Nangle^ of Moueanymy, in the county of Cork, by whom he had 
two sons, Edmund and William Spencer. His other son. Peregrine, also married, and 
had a son Hugolin, who, after the restoration of Charles II., was replaced by the Court 
of Claims in as much of the lands as could be found to have been his ancestor's. Hugolio 
attached himself to the cause of James II., and, after the Revolution, was outlawed for 
treason and rebellion. Some time after^ his cousin William, son of Sylvanus, became a 


resident at Mallow ; that he was in possession of an original portrait 
of the poet, which he valued so highly as to refuse five hundred 
pounds which had been offered for it, with many curious papers and 
records concerning his venerable ancestor/' 

To this account I can add, from my own recollection, that a Mrs. 
Sherlock lived in Cork not more than six or seven years since, who 
used frequently to boast of her descent from Spencer; and I have 
been told possessed his picture, which she had more than once 
refused to dispose of, though by no means in affluent circum- 

Buttevant is four miles from Doneraile, and situated on the A wbeg 
river; its name is derived from the exclamation of David de Barry 
in a contest with the Mac Carthies, when he urged his men on to 
victory with " Boutez en avant," — Push forward ; — since used as the 
' family motto by the Lords Barrymore, who derive the title of Vis- 
count from Buttevant. 

About a mile from Buttevant the road to Mallow runs through 
a rocky glen called Ballybeg, the beauty of which would be con- 
siderably increased by some trees : at its opening are the ruins of 
Ballybeg Abbey, founded and endowed by the Barnes; and close 
by this building appears the stump of an ancient round tower. 

Adjoining Ballybeg Abbey is a large field, called the Pigeon 
Field ; in digging which some years since, a vault was discovered 
" lined with images.'' The person from whom I received the infor- 
mation added, that these images " being handy to the road," were 
broken up and thrown thereon to repair it. In 1815, the landlady 

suitor for the forfeited property, and recovered it by the interest of Mr. Montague, after- 
wards Earl of Halifax, who was then at the head of the treasury. He had been introduced 
to'Mr. Montague by Congreve, who with others was desirous of honoring the descendant 
of so great a poet Dr. Birch describes him as a man somewhat advanced in years, but 
unable to give any account of the works of his ancestor which are wanting. The family 
bas been since very imperfectly traced." — Chalmerses Biog, Die. 

\ ^ 

Chap. VI. AND BUTTEVANT. 112f 

of the inn, at Buttevant, gave me an account^of a curious discovery 
made at Ballybeg Abbey, about five-and-twenty years back, by a 
blacksmith named Supple, who was induced, from a dream, to dig 
amongst the ruins in search of money, a superstition so prevalent 
with the lower orders of Irish, as to cause them, hke the Arabs, to 
excavate near almost every ancient building, in expectation of find- 
ing concealed treasure. Supple, after some laborious days spent in . 
disturbing the bones of the old Fathers, came to a stone coffin, con- 
taining a skeleton adorned with a cross and chains of gold, and a 
thin plate of the same precious metal stamped with a representation 
of the crucifixion. These relics were carried by the finder to Cork,, 
and disposed of to a goldsmith, by whom they were consigned to the 
crucible; and the stone coffin converted to a pig-trough at the 
cabin of a farmer near the abbey. The accuracy of this narrative 
has been corroborated by a son of Supple's, whom I met accidentally^ 
and entered into conversation with on the spot. 
/ Buttevant, called by Borlase " an old nest of abbots, priests, and 
friars,'' though formerly a town of importance and opulence, is now 
a poor place. It was walled, and governed by a corporation, and 
traces of its consequence may still be seen in the solid old walls and 
ruins scattered amongst the mean houses of which it is at present 
composed. The abbey is rapidly sinking into decay; its present 
exterior appearance Miss Nicholson's drawing will illustrate: but 
the fall, about three years since, of a high square tower that stood on 
. a light and graceful arch in the centre of the building has lessened 
its dignity, and covered, with a mass of confiised rubbish, great part 
of the interior — 

'* once the seat 

Of monkish ease and dark religious pomp : 
There many an antique monument is found 
lUegible and faithless to its charge ; 
That, deep insculped, once held, in measured phrase> 
The mighty deeds of those who sleep below : 




Chap. VI. 

Of hero> sage^ or saint^ v^hose pious hands 
Those ponderous masses raised — forgotten now^ 
They and their monuments alike repose." 

The vault of the founder, David de Barry, is mentioned as being in 
the middle of the chancel, and is now only marked by some dis- 
severed pieces of hewn stone that indicate a square enclosure. — 
Being recently opened to inter a descendant, a man who went down 
with the coffin described the interior to me as lined with the figures 
of different saints, the name engraven under each, and having at the 
upper end a tablet, on which was a long inscription. On the south 
side of the nave is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, of beau- 
tiful proportions, containing many tombs and inscriptions to the 
memory of the Barries, O'Dulins, Fitzgeralds, and Butlers. Attached 
to the stone cornice, a lion or wolf courant, sculptured on an armo- 
rial shield, is pointed out to visitors — 

with a traditional story too long and too absurd for relation. — 
In the nave, choir, and chancel, there are also tombs to those fa- 
milies, and to the Lombards and Mahers. 
Smith mentions the tombs of several other 
distinguished names, since destroyed or con- 
cealed by the ruins of the fallen tower. A 
fragment of closed tracery which I observed 
in the choir is here copied. 

Chap. VI. 



Some traces of fresco painting are yet to be seen on the wall 
of one or two recesses in the nave: — a patchwork halo of red and 
yellow, confined by a strongly marked black outline, and part of an 
orange-coloured ladder with a bit of green drapery, however the 
antiquary may regard them, did not give my companions very high 
ideas of the state of excellence attained by the monastic professors of 
this art in Ireland. 

Sir Richard Cox states, that Buttevant Abbey was repaired by the 
Roman Catholics, as a place of worship, in 1604, between which date 
and the year 1625 the greater number of tombs and inscriptions now 
existing in the interior were put up. In more than one legend, about 
this period, the soft sounding name of Kathelinais used for Catherine; 
and Redmond, Garet, Eugene, Phihp, and Maurice, appear to have 
been the favourite names amongst the famihes interred here. 

The naked walls of this abbey are looked upon by the peasantry 
with the highest reverence, and thither many still resort to perform 
rites of solitary devotion. A small grave-stone, 
marked with the cross, is placed on the shat- 
tered altar ; and at the time of our entrance, an old 
man was kneeling before it, counting his rosary with 
an intense piety ; having repeated there a certain 
number of prayers, he went from grave to grave, 
and from one recess to another, observing the same 
ceremony, and during the time of our stay, two or 
three devotees performed similar pious rounds. 

It is a common practice for the peasant, as an atonement for his sins, 
to impose on himself the saying, at particular places of reputed sanc- 
tity, a given number of rosaries, according to the supposed heinous- 
ness of the offence, and this is executed with the most scrupulous 
nicety; every other business is neglected for the purpose, and long 
and difficult journeys are often solely made onliiat account. 

The chancel of Buttevant Abbey, being built on a steep bank of 



die Awbeg, is raised to the level of the nave by three crypts or vaults, 
the middle of which is supported by a single pillar, so constructed 
as to resemble four, with fanciful and well-wrought capitals. — 
Close to the entrance of the abbey is a large square pile of skulls and 
bones, the relics of those who perished at the battle of Knockninoss, 
five miles distant from hence. It was fought on the 13th of Novem- 
ber, 1647, Hi>etween the English or parliamentary forces under the 
command of Lord Inchiquin, who was cemphmented by a pecuniary 
vote for his conduct on that occasion, and the Irish under Lord 
TaafFe; the latter were completely routed, and four thousand (half 
their number) left dead on the field. 

A party of Scotch highlanders, in the Irish army, headed by Sir 
Alexander Mac Donnell or Mac AUisdrum, contested their ground 
in the most determined and gallant manner, and were inhumanly 
butchered by the victors. The spot of Mac AUisdrum's assassina- 
tion is pointed out by the country people to this day, who pretend to 
show the stains of his blood. 

That wild and monstrous piece of music known by the name of 
OUistrum's March, so popular in the south of Ireland, and said to 
have been played at Knockninoss, should not, it appears to me, be 
considered as an Irish air. Mr. Walker, in his History of the Irish 
Bards, justly remarks its similarity to the pibroch or war tune of the 
Scotch ; and had he more carefully perused the passage in Smith, 
alluded to by him, he would have had no hesitation in assigning to this 
singular strain its northern origin. The estimation in which it is held 
in Ireland is wonderful. I have heard this march, as it is called, 
sung by hundreds of the Irish peasantry, who imitate the drone of 
the bagpipe in their manner of singing it. On that iustrument 
I have also frequently heard it played, and occasionally with 
much pleasure, from the peculiar and powerful expression given 
by the performer. " It was not without much difficulty,'' said the 
lady who gave me the annexed copy, " that I took down OUistriim's 

©IXISTmUMS MAIRCIHI, with the movements as played 
m the South of IrelaBd on the fipes. 

Mo derate 

f"ii"iffrr i flj=t^ i Ffjjim"/i 

/"rfrr ir i'j 'aj i J?? Di' i i'xf-''J' i Jjjjjj i 



JT^iru jjjjji/prni 

/"Lni7j i rP^J- i ' rcr1 i r f.[j^ iufrli 

f"iT[^j i ri:rr7 i r;a^;^iL£; tt 

if'VrLu^tL^UMLJgicj i LLLffJi ^ 

P uu r ■!" I mj ulij ■' uu* u^ 

Battle < 


.1* «^* 

ifiTS.— a-^^:s--^a-.^.:a...a..^i 


iJ jj I j-J ' 

dead dead dead. 

( turn 

larnentatiorv ofthe^ Lt^aimslter Wbunema 
A^ndante . 

§^ '^'^\^^ '^^ \ ^^^ ^^ 

lamerUatiorh offfie Mmunster Wbumemo 

ClhiMies OT Bells. 

Lomg JDance* 

^j.jt:jj,|^.^ I j|i uj I jIi 111 I j 

T/u^Th'o Z€inienUUu>ns €ut plis^ed^ very Slofr €uui/ friths a^ 

Chap»VL and buttevant. 117 

March, from the manner in which it is played. Not one of our 
native musicians understand a note of music, as the pipers in general 
are blind, and yet the air has been handed, or rather (if I may use 
the expression) eared down, I imagine, with very little alteration, 
having heard numbers perform it in the same irregular way. I 
should find it much easier to write a piece of music in score, than to 
set down the notes used by these blind minstrels, though they vary 
but little in all the movements and manner of playing; however, I 
have done my best to retain the character. In Walker's Irish Bards, 
provincial cries, strongly resembling the lamentations of the Munster 
and Leinster women, are well given.'' 

A little to the north-west of Buttevant Abbey, within its burial 
ground, and close to the road, there is a high square tower named 
Cullin. Its construction has been ascribed to an Earl of Desmond, 
but tradition is silent as to its use. 

The Castle of Buttevant is boldly seated on a rock above the 
Awbeg, and has been so modernized as to lose much of the contour 
of antiquity. A legend relates, that this castle was the chief residence 
of the Clan of Donegan, who rejected every offer of the English to 
surrender it, and repulsed every attempt made to take it; but it was 
ultimately surprized and captured by David de Barry, who gained 
it through the treachery of a soldier of the garrison. De Barry, hav- 
ing made himself master of the place, put its sleeping inmates to the 
sword, and rewarded the perfidy of the betrayer by striking off his 
head also. There was a small addition to this story related to me as 
possessing equal claims to belief; — the dissevered and ghastly head 
of the betrayer, as it went bounding down the stairs of one of the 
towers, yelled forth, in a sepulchral and terrible tone, the word — 
treachery ! — treachery ! — treachery ! 

About the year 1812, in planting part of the castle grounds the 
labourers discovered, a little way below the surface, a human skele- 
ton, with the appearance of a wig on the skull, which mouldered 


when exposed to the air; and apparentlj concealed in the caul were 
several shillings and sixpences of £lizabeth^s : — ^three or four of these 
coins are now in the possession of mj friend^ Mr. Samuel Richardson 
of Cork, and I recollect as many more being offered to me to pur- 
chase. There was no case or coffin round the body, nor was it 
buried in what is considered consecrated ground. 

Nearly a mile to the north-east of Buttevant is a considerable 
mound or tumulus, probably about twenty feet in height, called 
Knockaneabouhilla (or the Boy Hills); and about the breadth of a 
field from it is a smaller one, called Knockanea CoUihine (or the 
Girls' Hill), nearly half of which has been cut down to make way for 
a new road. 



' The grassy court— ^the mossy wall — 
Vault — barbacan — and turret tall — 

With weeds that have o'ergiown them ; 
Though dlent as the desert air^ 
Yet have their eloquence^ and bear 

Mortality upon them. 

Yes ! — these are talismans that break 
The sleep of yisions^ and awake 

Long silent recollections 3 
That kindle in the mental eye 
Romantic feelings long gone by^ 

And glowing retrospections." 

TijE scenery of the Blackwater, where it falls into the sea at 
Youghall, is bold and rocky; but the character gradually changes 
to one of richness and fertility. 

In the progress up this river, at every bend made by the course of 
the boat, attractive objects are continually presented to the eye, or 
renewed and improved by a change of position. Several ruins, to 
each of which historical or traditionary recollections are attached, 


overhang its banks; some clothed in ivy rising out of wood, whilst 
others appear sternly elevated on a naked point of rock: — ^these 
are agreeably relieved by many seats and hamlets scattered on 
the shore, and the distant Gal tee Mountains form a noble termina- 

Rincrew is the first ruin approached from Youghall; it stands 
on an eminence immediately over the river, and may be distinctly 
seen from thence. It is reputed to have belonged to the Mili- 
tary and Religious Association of Knight Templars, and being 
forfeited to the crown, was granted, in 1586, with Strancally, Bally- 
natra, and other lands, to Sir Walter Raleigh, who afterwards dis- 
posed of his Irish estates to the first Earl of Cork. I have been told 
that the river here is fished and navigated by means of small square 
boats called corracles, similar to those used in Wales, composed of 
basket work and covered with skin or oil cloth ; of these we saw 
none, but passed more than one bark of fragile texture and pigmy 
dimensions, in which a rosy-cheeked lass tugged stoutly at the oar. 
— A boat, sharp pointed both at bow and stern, and somewhat re- 
sembling a canoe, attracted our particular notice; it was guided by 
two young countrymen with paddles, and kept alongside our barge 
for about three miles, though the movement of the paddlers, when 
compared with that of our boatmen, appeared playful and insignifi- 

The castle of Temple Michael, at present a complete section of a 
heavy square tower, is about a mile from Rincrew, and adjoins the 
house of Mr. Smith, situated close to the river, which here spreads 
into an extensive sheet of water, and formerly encompassed an island, 
called Dar Inis or Molana. 

On this island, recently united to the main land, some ivied walls 
induced us to leave our boat, but they did not present a subject 
worth sketching; as some hand, certainly not that of an artist, has 
been busy here clearing away congenial weeds and brambles, and 

Chap. VIL 



the fragments of ancient tombs have given place to a grassy neatness. 
This destruction of monuments is the more to be regretted, from 
popular tradition naming Molana as the burial place of Raymond le 
Gross,* to whose personal skill and bravery the conquest of Ireland 
is mainly owing, and of whom Giraldus Cambrensis has left us so 
noble a character, A modem tablet has been put up in the interior, 
with an inscription recording the circumstance- In Archdale's 
Monasticon may be found the names of many abbots, with some 
particulars relating to the monastery of the little island of Molana. — 
According to Smith, it was founded by St. Molanfide, for regular 

* The descent of the original founders of the families of Windsor, Carew, Grace, 
Fitz-Maurice, Gerard, Fitz*Gerald, Mac-Kenzie and Fitz-Gibbon, in the male line from 
their common ancestor. Baron Walter Fitz-Other de Windsor, the patriarch of the 
house of Windsor and of these its younger branches. 

Bakow Walter Fitz-Othbb or db 
Windsor, Gov. of Windsor Castle in 
1080, (14 William the Conqueror). 



Windsor, eldest son, Gov. of 
Windsor Castle temp. Henry I. ; 
ancestor to the family of Wimd- 

Bobbrt Fxtz Waltbb v^ Windsob, 
Sd son. Lord of Estaincs. His male 
issoe extixict i|i WiDiam, 2d Lord of 

Gbbald Fxtz Waltcb ob Wxudbob, 
3d son, and Lord, jare aaoris, of 
Carew Castle, Chamberlain to K. 
Henry I., Gov. of Pembroke Castle, 
died 1135. 

William Fxtz-Gbbald, 
or db Cabxo, eldest son. 
Lord of Carew Castle, and 
Gov.of the County and Cas- 
tle ofPembroke,(tied 1 173. 


Maurice FiTz-GBRALD,Sd son, a coadjutor of Richard 
de Clare (or Strong^irX £• ^ Pembroke, in the con- 
quest of Ireland, Lord of Offaley in that country, died 
1177 ; ancestor to the families of Fitz-Gbbald, Mac- 
Kbniib' and Fxtz-Gxbbon. 

David Fitz-Gbrald, 
Archdeacon of Cardi- ^ 
gan, consecrated 
bishop of St. David's 
in 1147. 

Odo Fitz-William db Cabio, 
Lord of Carew Castle, eldest son ; 
ancestor to the Hunily of Cabbw, 

Bayiiond Fitz-Wxlliax (or Lb Grob), Sd son, 
the most renowned chieftain amons the coadjutors 
of Richard de Clare (or Stronghoi^, £. of Pem- 
broke, in the conquest of IreUmd,Lord of Lereton, 
and of Grace's country there, Constable of Lein- 
ster for life, and Viceroy of Ireland in 1177. 


William Fitb-Williak 
Fitz-Gerald, 3d son, 
Justice in Eyre Co. of 
Chester ; ancestor to the 
family of Gerard. 

William Fitz Raymond lb Gros, Lonl of Leieton and 
of Grace's country, heir to his father Raymond's lands in 
Leinster, Governor of Leinster in 1196; ancestor to the 
funily of Grace. 

Maurice Fitz Baymomd lb Gbos, Yonngest 

son, heir to his father Raymond's lands in 
Kerry, Lord of Kerry; ancestor to the family 
of Fits-Maurice. 

This genealogical cariosity, compiled from original and authentic documents, will no 
doubt be acceptable to many. 



canons, in the sixth century, and, being forfeited, was amongst the 
lands granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. 

Ballinatry, the seat of another Mr. Smith, is close to Molana; — 
from the water the gardens appear conspicuous, and seem laid out 
in the taste of the last century. In the next reach of the river, the 
remains of Strancally Castle break boldly on the view: Strancally 
was one of the strong holds of the Desmond family, and the atrocious 
cruelties committed in this castle called down the particular ven- 
geance of Elizabeth's government, by whose orders it was blown up; 
^e forcible effects of the explosion may still be easily discerned in 
its shattered fragments; and it is probable, the semi-destruction of 
Temple Michael was effected by the same means and at the same 
period. Our boatman pointed out the mouth of a passage excavated 
in the rock, which is reported to have communicated with a dungeon, 
stained by 

** Many a foul and midnight murder" — 

and from whence the bodies of slaughtered victims were precipitated 
into the tide. Numerous arbitrary and despotic acts of the Earis of 
Desmond are minutely related to the present day by the peasantry; 
and if an impartial history of their times could now be drawn up, it 
would present a catalogue of tyrannical and savage deeds, at the 
mention of which humanity must shudder. 

Drumana, recently the seat of the Earl of Grandison, is placed on a 
precipitous rock above the water, some distance, and at the opposite 
side from Strancally. The present house was built on the site of a 
castle that belonged, with those already described, to the Fitzgeralds, 
and is the reputed birth place of the long lived Countess of Des- 
mond, the number of whose years approached so near those of old 
Thomas Parr. This wonderful lady, being deprived of her jointure 
by the attainder of the Earl of Desmond, at the advanced age of 
one hundred and forty, crossed the Channel to Bristol, and» travelling 


to London, solicited, and obtained relief from James the First. In 
this part of the country her death is attributed to a fall whilst in 
tlie act of picking an apple from a tree in an orchard at Drumana. 

Drumana, richly surrounded with wood, is decidedly the most 
beautiful picture on the passage to Lismore. Strancally is more 
striking, as part of the ruin still retains nearly its original height, and 
the dark stateliness of its " time tinted'' walls bestows, an air of 
desolation and solemnity which the adjacent scenery is calculated to 
increase, the appearance of the ground being barren and neglected. 

" Brovn in the rust of time — ^it stands sublime. 
With over hanging battlements and towers. 
And works of old defence — a massy pile ! — 
And the broad river winds around its base 
In bright unruffled course.**— 

The views of Drumana, on the contrary, exhibit the strongest marks 
of industry and improvement. Exteni^ive plantations meet the eye 
in every direction, and the distance is closed by a range.of mountains 
with a particularly well-shaped outline. The loftiest of these is 
Knockmeledown ; its height is reckoned at two thousand seven hun- 
dred English feet above the level of the sea, and, on the top. Major 
Eeles,* of eccentric memory, lies buried, with his horse and gun 
beside him. About Drumana, for some space, rock's and trees hang 
beautifully over the water, and form a variety of delightful combi- 

Proceeding forward, the village of Afiane appears on the right, 
remarkable in Irish history from having been the scene of a severe 
conflict, about the middle of the sixteenth century, between the clans 
of Butler and Fitzgerald, in which three hundred of the latter were 

* This gentleman resided many years at Youghall, and was author of some tracts on 


killed, and their leader (Gerald, Earl of Desmond) wounded. An 
anecdote of this fight is related by many writers, remarkable for the 
dignified and spirited retort of the wounded Desmond, who was 
made prisoner, and as his antagonists were bearing him on their 
shoulders from the field, a leader of the Ormond party rode up, and 
exultingly exclaimed, " Where is now the great Earl of Desmond V 
when raising himself, indignantly he rephed, " Where, but in his 
proper place, on the necks of the Butlers!" The lands of A£fane 
are said to have been given by Garret Fitzgerald, for a breakfast 
to Sir Walter Raleigh, who introduced cherries into Ireland, and, 
according to Smith, first planted them here, having brought them 
from the Canary Islands- 
Two miles farther is Cappoquin, a neat village, with a pretty 
church spire, rising above a cluster of cabins, and wearing alto- 
gether a more inviting aspect than most Irish villages can boast : 
here is the first bridge across the Blackwater, and although wooden, 
of some antiquity, as an act was passed to repair it in the reign of 
Charles the Second. 

At Cappoquin, the course of the river changes from due east to 
due south, which direction it follows between eleven and twdve 
English miles, when it falls into the sea at Youghall, about sixty 
miles from its source ; Ptolemy calls this river the Daurona, and the 
Irish name of Awin-dubh or the Black River, used by Spencer, 
probably originated in the peculiar strength and gloominess of its re- 
flections, an effect we observed more than once during our excursion. 
The depth of the Blackwater is unequal, and the navigation impeded 
by beds of gravel. Lord Orrery in his Letters speaks of a communi- 
cation by water to Mallow, a distance of forty miles, for boats of tolerable 
burthen ; but this at present is impossible beyond Lismore, even for 
the smallest craft. Some years since, a canal was commenced above 
Mallow, and extensive remains of the undertaking are to be seen in 
that neighbourhood ; to pecuniary causes the failui:e of this plan is 


:^:^-<fe-> r 

^ 4 


attributed, and no effort has since been made to obtain the important 
advantage of inland water carriage. 

From Cappoquin to Lismore the banks of the river become still 
richer and more close; magnificentash trees dip their waving branches 
in the stream, and have attained a surprising growth and beauty. 
Within about two miles of Lismore, the frequent stoppages occasioned 
by locks induced us to land, and pursue the remainder of the way 
on foot; a walk of increasing beauty brought us within view of its 
fine castle, rising out of trees, above an extensive bridge with nume- 
rous arches, and one of striking dimensions. Of this approach the 
annexed drawing by Miss Nicholson will convey a correct idea. 

Lismore is recorded to have been one of the most distinguished 
seats of learning in Ireland, and the existence of numerous monas- 
teries and colleges here is boasted by modem authors on the faith of 
early annalists. The traveller, however, who expects to find remains 
of ancient building at Lismore, will feel disappointed, as few if any 
vestiges of its former greatness are now to be discerned. 

From the earliest period its history presents a catalogue of destruc- 
tive conflagrations, and these, in some measure, account for its being 
almost totally destitute of ancient edifices. In the seventh cen- 
tury, Lismore is described as a famous and holy city, full of monas" 
teries and cells, the resort of pious men from Britain, and half of it 
an asylum into which no woman was permitted to enter. It is, how- 
ever, chiefly memorable from the council held by Henry II. in 1172. 
Take the words of old Matthew Paris, which have occasioned so much 
discussion : ^^ Rex, antequam ab Hibemia redibat, concihum congre- 
gavit apud Lismore, ubi leges AngliaB ab omnibus gratenter sunt 
acceptae et juratoria cautione praestita confirmatae.*' 

At present, Lismore is a small and inconsiderable town, though a 
bishop's see, united to that of Waterford in 1363. The cathedral has 
nothing attractive in exterior appearance ; about a third part has 
recently been fitted up for service, in the florid Gothic style, and the 


carving of the oaken throne, pulpit, desks, and stalls, together with 
the entire effect, superior to any thing similar that I remember having 
seen in Ireland. 

The entrance to the castle is under an old gateway, with towers, from 
whence a level walled avenue, shaded on one side by a row of aged 
and stately pine trees, leads to a second gateway, over which are 
sculptured the arms of the Earl of Cork, with the often quoted motto, 
" God's providence is my inheritance/' This is the entrance into an 
extensive court yard, the north and east sides of which, if not recently 
erected, are so disguised as to have a modern appearance. 

A tame eagle was pluming his feathers in the sun beside the door of 
the castle, and the sight of that monarch bird in its present situation, 
chained to a slight wooden perch, seemed a fine emblem of the wild 
and lawless spirit of feudal days, controlled if not subdued by the 
power of civiUzation, beyond the reach of which it had long soared 
in proud and fancied security. There was no difficulty in obtaining 
permission to see the interior. A book lay on the hall table where 
strangers write their names, and a servant is in attendance to conduct 
them from room to room. The guide, though particularly civil, was 
totally ignorant of any anecdotes connected with the place ; in vain 
I inquired for the apartment consecrated by the memory of the 
philosophic Robert Boyle, who was born here ; for that, where the 
feeble monarch James II. is said to have started back from the 
window, appalled at beholding its height above the river ; or for any 
of those places identified with Raleigh or Broghill. Had I not been 
previously aware of the association of these names with lismore 
Castle, I should have gone through its chambers with as little interest 
as through those of any other well furnished house; in fact, it is no 
more, and the local association of such sacred titles as soldier and 
statesman, philosopher and poet, is never once recalled to the 
memory, a visionary charm that should be religiously preserved. 
Little will th^efore be found attractive in Idsmore Castle, beside the 


natural beauty d its situation. It was built by King John when he 
visited Ireland in 1186, and four years after destroyed by the Irish, 
who regarded, both with fear and jealousy, the construction of every 
English fortification. On being rebuilt, Lismore Castle became an 
episcopal residence, until granted with the manor and other lands, at 
the yearly rent of 13/. 6$. 8d., to Sir Walter Raleigh, to whom Lis- 
more is indebted for the foundation of a free school. From Sir 
Walter, this estate past into the possession of the first Earl of Cork, 
and in the rebellion of 1641, the castle was bravely defended by his 
third son, Lord Broghill, against the Irish. The conclusion of a letter 
firom that young nobleman to his father on this occasion has been 
much eulogized : " My Lord,'' says the gallant writer, " fear nothing 
for Lismore, for if it be lost, it shall be with the life of him that begs 
your lordship's blessing, and styles himself, your lordship's most 
humble, most obliged, and most dutiful son and servant," 

" Broghill." 

The manuscripts in Lismore Castle are frequently referred to by 
Smith, but I could learn nothing respecting them; my inquiries 
were answered by a positive assurance that no such collection ever 
existed ; but from Dr. Smith's character for correctness, as well as 
from the internal evidence of such parts as have been printed in his 
works, there can be ho doubt of their authenticity. These manuscripts 
appear to have been title-deeds and letters of the Boyle family, the latter 
replete with extensive historical and biographical materials relative 
to the intrigues and troubles of 1641, and it is to be hoped were 
removed and are preserved by order of the Duke of Devonshire, the 
present possessor of the castle.* 

The visitor of Lismore should make a point of seeing Balleen, the 

* On the death of Richard, third Earl of Burlington, and fourth Earl of Cork, in 1753, 
the most considerable part of that nobleman's estates both in England and Ireland devolved 
upon his daughter Lady Charlotte Boyle, who married^ in 1748, William Cavendish, fourth 
Duke of Devonshire. 


seat of the Rev. Dean Scott, about a mile distant from thence. By 
the kindness of Lady Listowel, Miss Nicholson was furnished with a 
letter of introduction to Mrs. Scott, and an evening ramble in. these 
chamnng grounds was one of much enjoyment. 

The Blackwater is here deep, and though rapid, pursues its course 
quietly, gliding amidst knotted stumps and twisted roots that skirt 
the banks, and which with the trees appear to have resolved as with 
one consent to grow in the most romantic forms imaginable. Every 
group might become a study for the pencil, and the river, Uke a black 
mirror, is of that dark, transparent quality, which I have frequently 
observed to reflect forms even more distinctly than they appear. 
The opposite woods and " castled eminence'' of Lismore give 
additional beauty to the scene, and its magic is completed by the 
lulling sound of the river murmuring amongst distant weirs. 

*' the fretful melody 

Of water, gurgling through the rugged weir. 
Brought on the breeze.-' 

Between Lismore and Fermoy the carriage road is indifferent, and 
the character of the Blackwater less worthy the notice of the pictorial 

We explored one ^vild glen called Ballydouve, three miles from 
Lismore, where a few miserable cabins (if I may speak paradoxically) 
5tood in lonely association ; an adequate idea of the wretchedness 
of these habitations can scarcely be formed from description. From 
these hovels the smoke of the turf fire has seldom the option of escape 
by a chimney, in default of which it issues from the door ; sometimes 
they possess a window, but this is a luxury not general. The floor 
is bare earth, so uneven that the four legs of a chair are seldom of use 
at one time, and baskets and utensils lie around in an indiscriminate 
litter ; a pig, the wealth of an Irish peasant, roams about with con- 
scions importance, and chickens hop over every part like tame 

Cmap-VIL the rivee blackwater. 129 

canaries. Such is a picture of dwellings within twenty miles of the 
principal trading city in Ireland. Few of the smoke dried inmates 
understood English, and I was not only surprized, but shocked, at 
finding the deplorable want of comfort exhibited in the condition of 
these poor people* A wooden bridge was constructing across the 
river at the time of our visit, and it is to be hoped that the increase of 
communication may be conducive to improvement 

The dilapidated towers, or, as they are called, castles of Liclash 
and Carrickabrick, are at opposite sides of the Blackwater, within a 
short distance of Fermoy, a town indebted for its importance to the 
extensive barrack and mail coach contracts of the late Mr. Anderson. 
At the last peace, the government works were discontinued, and the 
tnilitary withdrawn ; since when, its rapid prosperity has as rapidly 
decUned. A spirit of industry and enterprize no longer animates the 
place ; the once busy inhabitants have comparatively relapsed into 
indolent habits; and with the speculations of Mr. Anderson, the vital 
strength of Fermoy seems to have departed. 

About a mile and half distant is Castle Hyde, the seat of Mr. Hyde, 
to whose ancestor, a grant of six thousand acres of the Earl of Des- 
mond's forfeited ground was made by Elizabeth, as a reward for his 
miUtary services in England, during the commotion caused by the 
" invincible Armada.'' The lyric production of a drunken cobler, 
descriptive of Castle Hyde, is so popular as to i-equire notice, which 
its originaUty perhaps merits, and also from the well known song 
of the Groves of Blarney being an acknowledged imitation of this 
composition, of which the following quotation may serve as aspecimen. 

'' The bees perfuming — the fields iNPith music, 
As you rove down by th' Blackwater's side. 
The trout and salmon, play at back gammon. 
All to adorn sweet Castle Hyde." 

Rising behind Fermoy is seen the mountain of Caim na Thieraa, in 



English the Lord's heap, a name expressive of the Cairn or heap of 
rude stones on its summit, a monument of remote ages, and gene- 
rally believed to mark the burial-place of some primitive chief. 

To enjoy, indeed to see the scenery of the Blackwater between 
Mallow and Fermoy, a tract dignified by the name of the garden of 
Ireland, frequent detours must be' made from the carriage road, as it 
is otherwise impossible to form an adequate idea of the adjacent 
country. Sir Richard Hoare complains feelingly of this circum- 

The grounds of Castle Hyde join those of Creg, the residence of 
Colonel Stewart, which are laid out in good taste, with steep and 
shadowy walks beside the river, and contain an old castle that for- 
merly belonged to the family of Roche, feudal lords of the district of 

Two miles beyond Creg is Ballyhooley, an inconsiderable village, 
dignified by the ruins of another and more extensive castle of the 
Roches, standing on a rock with the present parish church, and the 
remains of the ancient one — a combination seen to great advantage 
from Convamore, the domain of Lord Ennismore, whence it affords 
an excellent subject for the pencil ; as these structures give a poetic 
relief to the massive richness of the surrounding wood which over- 
hang's the winding course of the river. 

About a mile above Convamorq, the Awbeg, named by Spencer 
the Mulla, meets the Blackwater, and their mingled currents glide 
onward beneath the rocky clifls of Renny, part of the estate granted 
to that poet. On the low ground between the conflux of these rivers 
are the venerable remains of Bridgetown Abbey, dedicated to the 
Virgin Mary, and founded by the Roche family, who at various 
periods added considerably to its endowments. In 1375, Thomas, 
the Prior of Bridgetown, was selected to proceed to England, in 
compliance with a writ of Edward III., directing that chosen persons 
should be sent from Ireland to advise on the government of that 


kingdom, and other important matters. This circumstance and the 
demolition of a bridge by Cromwell, from whence its name was 
derived, are the only historical facts recorded of Bridgetown Abbey, 
It contains few monuments of importance, except one on the south 
side of a large chapel near the site of the altar. It is a Gothic arch» 
of light and elegant proportions, within a considerable and heavy 
projection. The extreme wildness of construction in this arch is 
remarkable, the termination of one side being square and massive, 
the other sUght and sharp. Irregularity seems to have been the 
designer's chief object, and yet an uniformity of eflFect is preserved. 
About the middle of the comer moulding, on the altar side, a head 
in high reUef is most unaccountably placed, without any thing similar 
to correspond as a balance, and an inverted armorial shield, charged 
with one fish (the present Roche arms are three) is deeply marked 
in outline on the front of this monument, supposed to be that of the 
founder, Alexander Fitz Hugh Roche, but no vestige of an inscrip- 
tion can be discovered. 

In a small chapel parallel to and adjoining the greater one, there 
is another tomb belonging to the same family, simply inscribed 

A . D . 1634 

And in both chapels numerous architectural fragments and grave- 
stones he scattered on the ground. Amongst these fragments, some 
grotesque corbels and pieces of highly wrought tracery were to be 
seen. On many of the old grave-stones was sculptured a cross, 
enriched in various ways by means of intersecting circles and fleurs 
de lis ; several were without lettering, but on such as had a legend, 
k generally ran along the border ; I observed one in the great chapel 
covered with a Latin inscription, in the Roman character, but so 
oddly confused that I was totally unable to decipher it, although 
every letter and many words could be distinctly made out, some of 




Chap. VII. 

the words mingled with the ornamented cross, attached to which 
were two busts in bas-relief of the rudest workmanship. Of these 
uncouth works I have copied the most striking, together with a few 
architectural remains which I observed lying on the ground. 

Chap. VII. 




" Thus ID a comer of some ruined pile 
Lie name and titles — fragile to the touch 
Of curious finger, that perhaps may try. 
Once in an age, those antique characters 
And rudely chissel'd chyphers to explore. 
Perhaps in vain ! — Yes, poor Ephemera, 
This is the end of all your hoped renown. 
To be forgotten, and unknown !'' 

The cloisters and refectory may be traced without diflSculty ; the 
former is now a naked square court used as a ball alley by the neigh-* 
bouring peasantry. 

Leaving the Blackwater, and following the course of the Awbeg 
through a wild and rocky glen^ for about a mile and a half, we 
reached the village of Castle Town Roche. Its appearance was 
romantic, and, comparatively speaking, cleanly; the greater part 
is built upon the side of a thickly wooded eminence, crowned 


by an ancient embattled tower, that rises with an air of command. 
Through the valley, or rather glen, beneath, ripples the Awbeg, 
whose natural beauty is enhanced from the endearing appellation 
applied to it by Spencer in his Fairy Queen, 

** And Mulla mine, whose waves I whilom taught to weep/' 

The village church is modem, and without pretensions ; from a 
stone imbedded in the outside wall, I copied this inscription : • 

Pro Bono Statu 
Roche viceco 


Pro Anima ejus 
Anno Domini 1585. 

The castle is conspicuous at a considerable distance ; the present 
owner is Mr, Widenham, who recently resided in an adjoining house. 
It was formerly the chief seat of the Roches, whose loyalty having 
fallen under suspicion in Elizabeth's reign. Sir Walter Raleigh was 
instructed to secure the head of the family, an enterprize of consi- 
derable difficulty and danger, which he executed with extraordinary 
calmness and resolution. The policy of this act has been stigmatized 
as treacherous and disgraceful; but in whatever light it may be 
viewed, the personal courage and self-possession of Raleigh appear 
still the same. 

Being aware that Fitzgerald, the Seneschal of Imokilly, at the 
head of seven or eight hundred men, intended to intercept his march, 
Raleigh left Cork, with a small troop of only ninety, so unexpectedly, 
between ten and eleven o'clock at night, that he escaped any 
engagement, and arrived at Castle Town Roche the next morning. 

V . - 


e ^ 


Alarmed at the approach of EngUsh soldiers^ a show of defence wa& 
immediately made by the mhabitants, that subsided when Raleigh, 
attended only by six men, confidently advanced to the castle gates, and 
requested permission to speak with Lord Roche, who, though surprized 
at the visit, received him with apparent cordiality; and while Sir Walter 
detained that nobleman in conversation on indifferent matters, the 
men admitted with him contrived to give the entire of Raleigh's 
party entrance, each of whose muskets, we are told, was loaden wnth 
two balls. Lord Roche, perceiving his castle occupied by an over- 
powering force and resistance impossible, addressed Sir Walter witk 
increased kindness, ordered refreshments for his men, and invited 
him to dinner. After the banquet, Raleigh informed his entertainer 
of the cause of his coming, and exhibited a commission for his appre- 
hension. Lord Roche made some stight remonstrances, but ulti- 
mately surrendered ; and Sir Walter, with the same promptness of 
manner that had already proved so eminently successful, carried his 
noble prisoner, together with his lady, across the mountains to Cork 
the same night, which proved dark and stormy in the extreme, and 
thus again escaped encountering the Seneschal of Imokilly. But 
the charge of disloyalty against Lord Roche proved unfounded, and 
he afterwards became distinguished for his support of the English 
cause in Ireland, three of his sons and many of his followers having 
lost their lives in the service of Elizabeth. 

During the rebellion of 1641, the greater part of the estates of this 
family were forfeited, and Maurice Lord Roche was attainted and 
outlawed, having refused a composition offered by Cromwell. His 
lady, in 1649, defied the parliamentary forces, and heroically defended 
Castle Town Roche for some days, until compelled to surrender by 
a heavy fire from a battery raised in a field on the opposite side of 
the river, still called the Camp Field, and from whence Mr. Nichol- 
son's drawing was made. 

Lord Roche's attachment to Charles II., with whom he is said to 


have shared his pay derived from a military command ia Flanders 
wider a foreign government, was only rewarded on the restoration 
of that monarch, afler considerable delay, by a trifling pension, not- 
withstanding the impressive memorial of Lord Orrery* in his behalf 
to the Duke of Ormond, and the exertions of the latter nobleman 
and Lord Clanrickard to obtain an adequate remuneration for con«^ 
duct so loyal and so generous. 

It is a melancholy fact, that afler the Restoration, Lord Roche, 
with a wife and six children, were reduced to such abject poverty 
that it is stated diey would have starved had it not been for the 
private charity of individuals. 

Necessity, therefore, and the loss of ancient wealth and honours, 
seem to have compelled this family, Uke many others, to enter into 
the service of continental powers, in which they distinguished them- 
selves on various occasions. About the middle of the last century, 
a lineal descendant, employed by the King of Sardinia, became 

^ Tke following letter, addressed to the Duke of Dorset by Bishop Boulter^ Lord 
Pnnate of Ireland, is preserved in his Correspondence : — 

" Dublin, 22d June, I7dK 

^ My Lord, 

'' The lady that waits upon your Grace with these is relict of Lord Roche, 
as he was commonly called, whose ancestor was attainted and lost his title and a large estate 
about the rebellion of l64I. His late Majesty was pleased to give him a pension here 
during his life — I think it was £WO per annum, which I believe was the only support of 
him and his family. Since his death, his widow, being destitute of support, made appli- 
cation to his present Majesty for a pension, for the maintenance of herself; and, as I 
understood by her, my Lord Carteret gave her hopes, that his Majesty would grant her 
request; but, as nothing is yet done in it, she thought proper to go over to England to 
solicit in person. I believe she has some friends there who will assist her *with their 
interest, but as your Grace's good will must be of the greatest service to her, I humbly 
recommend her to your Grace to help her to somewhat that may be a subsistence for her, 
since I am fully persuaded she is at present without one. As for the particulars of her 
case, I refer your Grace to her own relation. 

" I am, &c." 

Chap.VIL the river blackwater. 137 

particularly conspicuous for his bravery^ in sustaining at Casal, with 
only six hundred men, a siege of thirty-two days, against a body of 
twenty-five thousand ; and on his capitulation, as a tribute to such 
gallant conduct, the French and Spanish generals received him in 
the most complimentary manner. 

The eccentric Sir Boyle Roche was a scion of the Fermoy family i 
he was, for several years, a member of the Irish parliament, and so 
renowned for his propensity to blunder, that as many bulls are attri- 
buted to him as witticisms to Curran, or puns to Lord Norbury ; Sir 
Boyle however possessed, in addition, a large share of shrewdness, 
and his absurdities have often quelled the storm of political debate, 
when the eloquence of the most highly gifted orator would have but 
augmented the tempest. 

From Castle Town Roche we returned to the Blackwater, and 
visited Clifford, the seat of Mr. Martin, about a mile beyond Bridge-' 
town, and midway between Fermoy and Mallow. The Blackwater, 
if not flooded, may be forded with safety beneath the house, from 
which circumstance, and a large limestone rock that overhangs the 
river, it has received the appropriate and descriptive name oWliff-ford. 

Highly cultivated and improved, planted with peculiar taste and 
care, and surrounded by picturesque objects, it is difficult to con- 
ceive a more fascinating spot. The house is small, and completely 
concealed by trees ; from a tablet in the hall, I transcribed these 
beautiful lines : 

** Parva domus ! nemerosa quies 
Sis til quoque nostris hospitium laribus 
Subsidium diu : postes tuas Flora oraet 
Pomonaque mensas." 

Rambling through the domain, we came to a retired rocky hollow, 
containing an ura of considerable size, upon a proportionate pedestal, 
and shaded by trees so .closely planted as to cast, even at noon-day, 


a congenial monumental gloom. I have heard that the hospitable 
owner of CUfford erected this urn, intending his heart to be deposited 
in it after his death, which the inscriptions on the pedestal seem to 

In the path along the river side, from Clifford to Killavullan Bridge, 
pasturage, wood and water are finely arranged in the landscape, and 
form a luxuriant contrast to a heathy, barren-looking mountain that 
ascends behind the ruined castle of Carrignaconny (the Rabbit's Rock) 
and its surrounding plantation. Carrignaconny was the estate of 
Sir Richard Nagle, attorney general to James II., and speaker of 
the House of Commons, whose bigotry has been condemned by all 
parties, and even reproached by James himself. 

The pass of Killavullan is singular and romantic ; on the descent 
to it are some ruins, called Monanimy, reputed to have belonged to 
the ELnights of St. John of Jerusalem. After crossing the bridge, 
the road winds rouud a mass of steep limestone rock, in which are 

* Monumentum hocce 
Diis manibus R. M. posuit 
A. D. 1790. 

Quisquis hoc sustulerit 
Autjusserit: ultimus 
Suorum moriatur. 

Linquenda tellus, et domus et placens 
Uxor : Deque harum qtias colis arborum 
Te, prseter invisas cupressos^ 
UUa brevem dominum sequetur. 

Vivus seu mortuus 

Cor hie quiescit 


Inveni portum, spes et fortuna valete : 
Sat me lusistis, ludite nunc alios. 


natural cavenis, used as habitations by the peasantry. One of these 
was the dweUing of the village smith, the light from whose forge 
threw a broad and vivid reflection across the road, that lay in the 
solemnity of deep shadow. The evening closed in so fast as to urge 
our rapid advance towards Mallow, and the remark before made on 
the difficulty of obtaining correct information respecting distance, may 
be illustrated by giving a dialogue verbatim, which occurred on our 
walk : — 

" How; far is it to Mallow V 

"Och! I don't know/' 

" Do you live there r 

"Is it at Mallow? I do.'' 

" Do you think it two miles from hence?" 

" Indeed, and two miles would not take you to Mallow." 

" Is it ten miles ?" 

" It is not ; it may be four and a bit — ^when you get over the 
mountain you will be there in less than no time." 

Rockforest, Sir James Cotter's seat, and Carrig, that of the Franks 
family, on opposite sides of the Black water, were passed in twihght; 
but our " weary way" was cheered by a magnificent sun-set. 

Mallow has been called the Bath of Ireland, not from any striking 
resemblance between the buildings of these towns, but from a simi- 
larity in the society — invalid water drinkers, and those who, with 
moderate incomes and easy dispositions, prefer passing through life 
in the gaiety of a genteel circle, to exertion or study. . . 

Pleasure is therefore the object pursued by the inhabitants of 
Mallow, and the morning visit and nightly assembly, to those who 
are of listless habits and Ibnd of amusement, would doubtless make 
the place very agreeable. Strangers of respectability require, but a 
slight introduction to receive attention ; and the genuine kindness 
and hospitality shown by the residents to such, must long be remem^ 
bered with gratitude. The appearance of the town is ancient and 

T 2 


and irregular; there are some good modern houses in the upper 
part, but the lower principally consists of mean looking shops, 
with old fashioned projecting windows over them ; the first floor is 
let as lodgings, which enables the shopkeepers to pay heavier rents 
than I apprehend the sale of their goods would justify, as the trade 
of Mallow is necessarily very limited. It has a well built, though a 
narrow bridge, mentioned as the only one across the Blackwater, in 
1666, by Lord Orrery, who recommended the repairs of the castle 
that commanded it. Under some of its arches are several most unac- 
countable inscriptions which I can make nothing out of. The walls 
of a castle still remain in the grounds, and close to the dwelling house 
of Mr. Jephson, to whom the proprietorship of Mallow has descended 
from Sir John Jephson. 

The district of Mallow was part of the forfeited Desmond property, 
and bestowed by Elizabeth on Sir John Norris, Lord President of 
Munster, whose memory has been embalmed by Spencer, in a sonnet 
addressed to him with a copy of the Fairy Queen. 

" Vk^hose warlike prowess, and manly true courage^ 
Tempered with reason, and advisement sage. 
Hath fiird sad Belgia with victorious spoil. 
In France and Ireland left a famous gage. 
And lately shak'd the Lusitanian soil." 

Sir John Jephson having married the daughter of the lord presi- 
dent, the estate was granted to her heirs by letters patent, in the 
reign of Jaines I. 

Lord Strangford has inscribed his translation of Camoens to the late 
possessor (his kinsman), for many years the representative of Mallow 
in parliament ; the present member is Mr. Wrixon Beecher, whose 
recent marriage with Miss O'Neill has deprived the stage of that ac- 
complished and amiable actress. 

Mallow was the scene of a smart conflict, in the commotions of 

Tv:> ■. 



1641) and also of I69O.* Lord Montgarret inarched into it with the 
Irish forces in February, 1642, when the town " consisted of two 
hundred English houses, thirty of which were strongly built and 
slated,'' beside its two castles. 

In the census taken this year (18S1,) the number of the houses is 
stated to be 607> and the inhabitants 4,146. 

A walk with stately trees beside a canal leads to a tepid spa. It 
has a neglected appearance, from which may be inferred, that the 
salubrious effects of this fountain are not now held in so much 
estimation as some years back, when I recollect the Spa Walk 
mentioned as the favourite promenade, and much praised for its neat- 

The spring is estimated to discharge twenty gallons per minute, 
and the temperature of water at about sixty-eight degrees of Farenheit. 
The taste I found soft and rather agreeable. 

Miss Nicholson's drawing of Mallow was made from the suburbs 
on the south side, whence the castle appears, backed by trees of well 
varied forms; but the chief entrance to the town is through rows of 
wretched cabins, every way calculated to create an impression unfa- 
vourable to. the place. The vicinity abounds with gentlemen's seats, 
which possess an aspect of comfort and elegance, but the surrounding 
hovels create a melancholy comparison. 

The new line of road between Cork and Limerick passes through 
Mallow, and is of noble proportions ; the principal point considered 
has been an uninten*upted level, to accomplish which, the road is 
canied round the base of hills and over the intervening glens on bridges 

* " On the 17th September, iGQO, Colonel Donap was detached with directions to 
bum the bridge at Mallow, which he performed, and brought an account that a party of 
Rapparees to the number of three thousand were not far off, when Major Fittinkhoft was 
immediately sent out with a party of one hundred horse and fifty dragoons, who com- 
pletely routed them, leaving nearly three hundred dead on the field, and getting many silver 
hilted swords, and some fine horses amongst the plunder." — Story, vol. i. p. 140. 


having much the appearance of aqueducts; but too little atten- 
tion has been paid to the convex formation, and the construction of 
drains for carrying off the water, a matter of importance when we 
consider the lowness of situation, as well as the general wetness of the 
Irish climate. It would also be an improvement if the stones used 
in the repairs were more broken than at present, and distributed in a 
more careful and judicious manner. 

A long time is now required to produce a proper surface, as it 
takes many months to effect an union between large lumps of stone, 
thrown together without the aid of gravel or smaller pieces to fill up 
the interstices ; and one side, much cut up, and with numerous ruta, 
is travelled in preference to the other covered by a rough and heavy 
coat of stones. The old roads in Ireland were invariably constructed 
over the highest points of ground, and, until lately, a journey was 
perforaied by a series of ascents and descents. Road making, or 
rather jobbing, at one period (and that not very remote), formed a 
regular matter of traffic to the country gentry, who, being generally 
on the county grand jury, had influence in obtaining presentments. 
It has been facetiously said that the Irish squires of the rack-rent school 
usually bequeathed a law-suit and a score of mortgages with the estate 
to their eldest son, and left their road contracts as a provision for 
the younger children — ^to be serious, the fact of the misappUcation of 
large sums of money voted to improve the country by roads, that 
might facilitate the conveyance of produce and means of travelling, 
is notorious. 



" Lament, lament, old abbies 
The fairies lost command ! 
They did but change priests babies. 

But some have changed your land : 
And all your children stoFn ^m thence 

Are now growne Puritanes, 
Who live as changelings ever since. 
For love of your domains." 

Bishop Corbet. 

YouGHALL, twenty-four miles east of Cork, is situated at the mouth 
of the River Blackwater, near a fine open beach of smooth sand, 
but its harbour has the disadvantage of a bar, which renders the 
entrance often dangerous, and sometimes impossible. 

The town consists of one long street, with smaller streets leading 
off Qn each side, and is a fashionable place of resort for sea bathing. 

* The pronunciation of the word Youghall can scarcely be accomplished except by a 
nativet and is with difficulty expressed by any combination of letters; that vrhich comes 
nearest to it is Yawhall, slurring the first syllable in a guttural manner, and strongly aspi- 
rating the letter h. 

144 YOUGHALL. Chap. VIII. 

It would seem persons with limited incomes miglit live comfortably 
in Youghall, as I learned that the price of provisions in general is low ; 
a pair of green geese may be bought for ten-pence ; a large hake for 
five-pence ; twenty-three pounds of potatoes, termed a weight, for 
two-pence; mutton five-pence per pound ; fowls ten-pence the pair; 
a Michaelmas goose, a shilling to eighteen-pence; and so on in pro- 

The Inn (or hotel as it is called) was dirty, and ill provided for 
the reception of travellers ; but as there was much to be seen in the 
place, and we had some letters of introduction, its accommodations 
were of httle comparative consequence to us. 

The remains of ancient buildings in Youghali are sufiSciently 
numerous and conspicuous to demand notice, even from the casual 
visitor ; and the result of an inquiry into their history will not prove 

The house of the ill fated Sir Walter Raleigh, who was mayor of 
the town in 1588, is still to be seen nearly in the same state as when 
inhabited by him ; and many objects are pointed out, to which the 
charm of traditional anecdote is attached. 

The town walls, with their towers, continue in some places their 
original height, although in a very ruinous condition ; and now ter- 
minate the gardens of a few good houses, that are elevated above 
the main street, by the natural rise of the ground, and command a 
charming view, over the town, of the river and harbour. In these 
gardens the myrtle flourishes with surprizing luxuriance, having, in 
many instances, attained the growth of twenty feet. 

On digging close to the town walls about five or six years ago, four 
curious pieces of stamped pewter were turned up, which appear to 
have been used as coins, or promissory counters, but are without 
any inscription or mark that might determine their history and use. 
Two of these pieces were of a triangular, and two of a circular shape, 
the largest of the latter about the siz^ of an old half-crown, the other 

Chap. VIII. YOUGHALL. 145 

nearly that of a shilling, and the triangular bits seemed to be two 
quarters of a large circular one. With them was also found a very 
small base metal coin, of that kind technically by collectors, 
black, or maille money. On the obverse it has, in an oval, a full faced 
head, with a mitre, and the inscription Patricivs ; the reverse has 
the common cross with a single pellet in each quarter, something like 
those found on most of the coins of our Edwards and Henrys, and 
some legend, probably the moneyer's name, which I am unable to 
decipher. This coin appears to be one of those called Tumey's, a 
corruption of the wordTournois, from being struck at Tours in France, 
which circulated generally in Ireland, until forbidden by Edward 
III., in 1338. 

Many monkish remains have been occasionally found at Youghall. 
I remember seeing amongst others a hollow bronze cross, about 
seven inches in length, which opened, and was divided into several 
compartments, or chambers, for the deposition of relics. 

The town of Youghall is indebted to the Earls of Desmond for its 
former distinction, the chief buildings having been erected by them. 
In 1579 it was besieged by the famous rebel earl, who, without ex- 
cepting the religious foundations, gave up the place to unrestrained 
pillage, a sacrilegious proceeding, that, according to Irish historians, 
drew down on him the signal vengeance of Heaven. Some Spanish 
soldiers, who were associated with Desmond's followers in this exploit, 
strongly reprobated these excesses, and one of the foreigners is said 
to have so deeply commiserated the suflferers in this scene of wanton 
havoc, that he divided his cloak amongst five children, who had been 
stripped of their clothes, and left naked by some of the Irish 

On the news of the capture of Youghall by the rebel party. Lord 
Ormond sent a small troop from Waterford, under the command of 
Captain White, to recover it; but, though an entrance was ejected at 
the Water Gate, they were repulsed with the loss of their leader and 


14^ YOUGHALL. Chap. VIII. 

several men, by the Seneschal of Imokilly, who defended the town for 
his relative the Earl of Desmond — ^at which temporary success that 
nobleman was prodigiously elated — but as, in consequence of being 
plundered, the place was deserted by its inhabitants, only one poor 
friar remaining within the walls, Fitzgerald the Seneschal was obliged 
to abandon it for want of provisions, and it was immediately gar- 
risoned with three hundred men by order of Lord Ormond, who 
invited the fugitive citizens to return, and Sir William Pelham directed 
Mr. Coppinger the mayor, who had surrendered the town to Desmond, 
to be hanged at his own door. 

Three years afterwards (1582) the Seneschal of Imokilly endea- 
voured to regain Youghall, but was defeated with the loss of fifty of 
his followers. In 1645, Lord Cork maintained the town for nearly 
ten weeks, against a large body of the Irish forces under Lord Castle- 
haven, and compelled him to raise the siege. 

As a matter of course Youghall submitted to Cromwell, who em- 
barked here for England, after his almost incredible progress through 
Ireland, that, like a resistless torrent, overwhelmed every attempt at 

Two religious houses were built here by the Geraldines about the 
middle of the thirteenth century, one on the north, the other on the 
south side of the town, and although only a small fragment of the 
former now exists, romantic associations are attached to the memory 
of both. The foundation of the south abbey, according to Sir James 
Ware, the first Franciscan friary in Ireland, originated in the follow- 
ing circumstance: Maurice Fitzgerald, being about to raise a castle, 
was requested by the artificers engaged in marking out the site on 
the eve of some festival, to bestow a piece of money on them and 
their fellow labourers for the prosperity of the undertaking, which he 
directed his son to do, but who, instead of obeying the command of 
his parent, violently abused the workmen. His conduct so much 
affected the father that he changed his intention, and assuming the 


habit of that order, caused a house for grey friars to be erected, in 
place of his intended castle. The other abbey was founded by 
Thomas Fitzgerald, commonly called the Ape, a name bestowed on 
him in consequence of the tradition that a tame baboon or ape, at his 
fathers castle in Tralee, had snatched him from his cradle, and 
ascending the highest part of the walls, carried the infant about in 
his arms for a considerable time, to the terror of the spectators, but 
at last brought the child down safely, and deposited him again with 
much care in his cradle. The crest and supporters of the Duke of 
Leinster, who claims descent from Thomas the ape, are monkies, in 
remembrance, as the heralds state, of this event. 

The college of Youghall, now the property of the Duke of Devon- 
shire, is a tolerably perfect remain, and one that merits attention, were 
it merely from its history, which gives us a striking picture of the times. 
It was founded in 1464, by Thomas Earl of Desmond, for a warden, 
eight fellows, and as many choristers, endowed with several livings, 
and a landed estate of 600/. per annum. It continued to increase in 
revenue and patronage, and had the good fortune to escape the general 
plunder at the reformation ; — Dr. Witherhead, who held the warden- 
ship in commendam with his bishopric of Waterford, preserved it for 
some years; but the next warden, Nathaniel Baxter, was served with 
an order from Queen Elizabeth to resign, within forty days, to Thomas 
Southwell, Esq. of Norfolk, and Mr. Fitz Harris of Ballycremane, 
who had obtained a gmnt of it from her, for the purpose of passing 
away the lands to themselves and their friends, as had been the case 
with so many other ecclesiastical foundations. Dr. Baxter, seeing the 
object of this order, which they took little pains to conceal, and sup- 
posing it lawfnl to cheat a robber of his prey, took advantage of the 
forty days, summoned his fellows, and passing a long lease of the 
whole college estate to Sir Thomas Norris, Lord President of Munster, 
obeyed strictly the letter of the royal order, and resigned his warden- 
ship without its revenues to Fitz Harris and Southwell. In a rage, they 



refused to accept of it, and both Baxter and Sir Thomas Norris died 
before the affair was settled. Upon this the fellows elected Dr. Han- 
mer, who, three years after, renewed Norris's lease to Jones, in trust for 
Sir Walter Raleigh, reserving only to themselves the parsonage of 
Carrigoline, and the impropriated rectory of Mallow. Such, however, 
was the facility with which the church was then deprived of its pos- 
sessions, that another rapacious courtier, Sir George Carew, " nil ac- 
tum reputans dum quid superesset agendum,'' posted over to London 
the very next year, and obained a patent for the whole ecclesiastical 
property of the college, from James I. ; a sweeping grant, including 
the advowson of Youghall, which the warden had kept for his own 
maintenance, and the two reserved livings. 

Sir Richard Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork, one of the most saga- 
cious men of his day, hved all this time quietly at Youghall, no in- 
attentive observer of the scene passing before him, and when the 
claimants on all these different and discordant grounds began to be 
tired of their disputes and unable to settle them, he stepped calmly in 
and bought up all their titles for a trifle; then getting Hanmer to 
resign the wardenship in favour of his relative Dr. Richard Boyle, 
Bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, obtained a grant in fee-farm for 
ever of all the property temporal and spiritual, to himself and his 
heirs, including the warden's house and garden, and the site of the 
college itself. 

The Earl did not enjoy this property without a struggle with Lord 
Strafford's attorney-general, Sir William Ryves, who obliged him to 
give up the living and three hundred acres of land ; but he eventu- 
ally succeeded (in 1640) in obtaining a fresh patent from the crown, 
for full possession of the college and all its revenues. 

The tithes of Youghall parish, which amount at present to 500/., 
and three hundred acres of land, much underlet (fine included) at 
751. per annum, are still in possession of the warden. The college 
and warden's house, both large and handsome buildings, have been 

Chap. VIIL 



long since alienated by Lord Cork's family ; but three smaller tene- 
ments (settled no doubt in lieu of them) go with the wardenship 
which office, now in the gift of the crown, has been, ever since Lord 
Strafford's time, united, as part of its possessions, with tlie see of 
Cloyne ; but the only remaining proof of its former large property is 
its payment to the First Fruits office of 100 marks (sixty-six pounds), 
while the bishopric itself is only rated at ten guineas. 

The noble Gothic window in the 
ruinous gable end of the present 
parish church, that stands close to 
the college, invites examination, 
and is pointed out as the richest 
and most perfect specimen of the 
kind in Ireland. Although the 
effect of its original graceful pro- 
portions is destroyed by the lower 
part being built up some feet, it 
is certainly a fine piece of work- 
manship, and is formed by a double 
Gothic window, each consisting of 
two slight munnions surmounted 
by open circular tracery, and ter- 
minating in a trefoil ornament. 
These windows become one by the 
outside line of their arches uniting 
in a common point over the double massive munnion, which is thus 
the centre, and this diamond shaped space is occupied by a Catherine 

There are some monuments in the interior of the church deserving 
notice. The south transept was purchased in I6O6, by Lord Cork, 
from the corporation of Youghall, and contains the monument of that 

150 YOUGHALL. Chap. VIII. 

nobleman, with several effigies and escutcheons painted and tricked 
out in the manner of James I/s time. As six pages have been de- 
voted by Dr. Smith in his History of Cork to the account of this mo- 
nument and its inscriptions, I must refer to that work, particularly 
as I could obtain only a peep at it through a keyhole, the chapel in 
which it is being walled off from the church, and the door unlocked 
only on particular occasions, and by express permission. 

** For as the tombe, is built in sumptuous guise. 

So to the same, a closet fayre is wrought, 
Where lords may sit in stately solemne wise, 

jis though it were a fine device of thought, 
To beautifie both tombe and every part 
Of that fayre worke, that there is ouuie by arte.'^ 

In the same chapel there is an epitaph on Sir Richard Villers, Lord 
President of Munster, who died in 1626, which bears a strong resem- 
blance in style to those written by Ben Jonson. 

'' Munster may curse the time that Villers came 
To make us worse« by leaving such a name 
Of noble parts, as none can imitate. 
But those whose hearts are married to the state ; 
But, if they press to rival him in fame, 
Munster may bless the time that Villers came!" 

In the north transept, part of which I think forms the vestry room, 
are some curious old monuments — I remarked two recumbent effi- 
gies lying on the ground, that were once apparently placed on tombs ; 
the feet of each rested on a lion or some animal, and one, in the robes of 
an ecclesiastic, held a bird in his hand ; at the edge of the other stone 
was an inscription in Gothic letters, which might be read without diffi- 
culty. Near these figures, and forming part of the pavement, is one of 

Chap. VIII. 



those ornamented crosses, of which such an 
endless and whimsical variety are to be found 
in almost every old abbey and church in Ire- 
land, This, which bears the date (a very singu- 
lar circumstance) of 1517, in a circle on the 
shaft of the cross, is accurately copied : along 
the edge is an inscription, but I could only 
read with ease — 


In the nave, half concealed by one of the 
pews, there is another of these crosses, with a 
head sculptured in bold rehef, and without any in- 
scription, which I sketched as affording an un- 
common difference. Tradition names it as the tomb 
of Roynane, who was Mayor of Youghall in the early 
part of Elizabeth's reign. 

There is much more to detain a monumental anti- 
quary in this church than I have the means of enume- 
rating, as the difficulty of getting at some tombs and 
the injured state of others precluded the thoughts of 
an effort at a complete investigation, without con- 
siderably more leisure and facilities than I could 

The church has side aisles formed by a row of Gothic arches, sup- 
ported on heavy square columns ; and at the east end, close to the 
transepts, a wall is biiilt across the former chancel. The space be- 
tween the present interior and the ancient splendid window is used 
as a burial-place, and filled with rubbish and broken grave-stones, 
amid which the rank nettle shoots up, and the briar, in entangling 
embrace, flings its long arms around fallen architectural decorations. 
Here too are some costly monuments, particularly a sepulchral niche 

152 YOU G II ALL. Chap. VIII. 

in the north wall, carved and richly adorned with trefoil compart- 
ments ; and over it is the inscription, 

Ufc 3acet 




It would be unpardonable to omit noticing the house of Sir Walter 
Raleigh adjoining the churchyard, and at present the residence of 
Sir Christopher Musgrave. It is long and low, the exterior plain 
and heavy, resembling the common English manor-house of his 
time. In the interior, those rooms which we saw were completely 
lined with small oaken pannels, and had large wooden chimney 
pieces, embeUished with very beautiful carved work ; nor should it be 
forgotten that potatoes were first introduced into Ireland by Raleigh, 
who, it is reported, brought them from Virginia, and planted them 
in his own garden at Youghall. However his military exploits de- 
serve execration in the history of Ireland, the benefit conferred on 
the country bj* the introduction of this nutritive and prolific root, 
which at present constitutes almost the entire food of its peasantry, 
ought to redeem his memory and consecrate his name. . A well- 
known and not improbable anecdote is related respecting the person 
to whom the care of the first crop was entrusted : supposing that the 
apples, as they are called, which grow on the stalks, were the part 
to be used, he tasted them, but finding the flavour insipid and rather 
nauseous, thre>v them away ; nor was it until he dug the ground to 
root out this apparently worthless plant that its value was discovered. 

Amongst the distinguished names connected with the history of 
Youghall, the most eminent is that of Richard Boyle, or, as he is com- 
monly styled, the great Earl of Cork, who landed in Ireland a needy 
and speculative adventurer, and in a short time acquired honours, 
titles, and wealth; by what means, affords a fair subject for inquiry. 

Chap.VIII. youghall. 153 

and one which most writers have been willing to record on his own 
assertion, as Lord Cork has left a memoir of his success in life, 
written by himself, in a tone of humility that ill accords with his 
known arrogant and haughty demeanour, when he had no purpose 
to serve by a contrary behaviour. i 

Richard Boyle had been brought up to the law ; but perceiving 
" that his employment would not raise a fortune,'' he set out for Ire- 
land as the scene of revolutionary confusion, and landed at Dublin 
the 23d of June, 1583, all his wealth then being " 27/. 3s. in money, 
and two tokens which his mother had given him, viz. a diamond ring 
and a bracelet of gold, worth about 10/. ; a taflfety doublet cut with 
and upon taflfety ; a pair of black velvet breeches laced ; a new Milan 
fustian suit laced and cut upon taflfety; two cloaks and competent 
linen, and necessaries, with his rapier and dagger/' 

If the 500/. a year, obtained by marriage, be excepted, how Lord 
Cork acquired in a few years estates sufficient to awaken the atten- 
tion of the principal officers of the Irish government, does not appear ; 
but a representation of the number of castles and abbeys of which he 
had possessed himself with such limited means, was made to Queen 
Ehzabeth, by Sir Henry Wallop, treasurer at war; Sir Robert 
Gardiner, chief justice of the King's Bench ; Sir Robert Dillon, 
chief justice of the Common Pleas; and Sir Richard Bingham, 
chief commissioner of Connaught. Nor is it likely that these men 
would unite to ruin an industrious individual without sufficient cause; 
and it does not seem improbable that Mr. Boyle was secretly sup- 
plied with money from Spain, and employed as an agent by that 
government, about this time meditating the invasion of the country, to 
secure the principal places of strength in the south of Ireland. Be the 
matter as it may, Mr. Boyle immediately fled into England, where he 
was arrested, and confined for a short time a close prisoner; but having 
rendered some services to the Earl of Essex, then Lord Lieutenant of 



Ireland, he was liberated through his influence with Elizabeth, and 
appointed to the office of clerk of the council of Munster, by a poli- 
tical arrangement resigned for the purpose, the Slst March, I6OO, 
by Ludovic Briskett, an English author of some celebrity, and the 
successor of the poet Spencer in that situation. . 

As clerk of the council he accompanied the Lord President of 
Munster in his various efforts to reduce the province to submission, 
and was sent over to London by the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, who 
assisted the President at the siege of Kinsale, with the news of the 
victory obtained at that place over the Irish, under the Earl of Tyrone, 
and the invading Spaniards, on the 24th December, I6OI, " in which 
employment," says Lord Cork, " I made a speedy expedition to the 
court, for I left my lord president at Shandon Castle near Cork on 
Monday morning, about two of the clock, and the next day, being 
Tuesday, I delivered my pacquet, and supped with Sir Robert Cecil, 
being then principal secretary, at his house in the Strand, who after 
supper held me in discourse, till two of the clock in the morning, and 
by seven that morning, called upon me to attend him to the court, 
when he presented me to her Majesty in her bed-chamber,'' &c. 
This very passage, in Lord Cork's account of his fortunes, is sufficient 
to throw a doubt upon the other statements made by him, as the per- 
formance of a journey from Cork to London, in the space of time 
mentioned (thirty-four hours), must then have been a matter of im- 
possibility, since it is now barely practicable, under tlie most favour- 
able combination of circumstances ; yet so miraculous a journey is 
dwelt upon by most of his biographers with unhesitating admiration. 
Mr. Budgell, in his Lives of the Boyles, adds, indeed, as a comment 
on this extraordinary piece of travelling, that he ** should have made 
some difficulty of believing the fact, if he had not seen it in his (Lord 
Cork's) own memoirs, which are evidently wrote without the least 
affectation^ and with a great regard to truth/* 

Having kissed the Queen's hand, Mr. Boyle returned to Ireland, 

Chap. VIII. YOUGHALL. 155 

where he purchased from Sir Walter Raleigh the forfeited estates of 
Lord Desmond, granted to him by the crown ; Sir Walter, then anxious 
to dispose of these barren tracts, with his ambitious mind fixed upon his 
American expedition, sold them to Mr. Boyle for the trifling sum of 
1500/., which purchase, as it is called, was concluded on the 7th De- 
cember, l602. The transaction, however, seems to have something 
mysterious about it, as Lord Cork continued afterwards, from time 
to time, to supply Raleigh with various sums of money, without any 
apparent return; and it is obvious from Lord Cork's general conduct, 
that he read character and understood the value of money too well, 
to bestow it, without an object, on a daring and unprincipled adven- 
turer hke Raleigh. 

These estates, which Lord Cork lost no time in getting confirmed 
to him by the crown, included the manors of Ballynatra, Strancallie, 
Lysfinneen, Mogeyley, Sheane, Lismore; the new college of the 
Virgin Mary at Youghall, the Commendatorship of Lismore, the 
Abbey of Molana, and the town of Tallow, containing above 12,000 
acres, in the counties of Cork and Waterford. Such indeed appears 
to have been the general fear of Lord Cork's grasping abilities, that a 
by-law was actually made by the corporation of Cork, forbidding 
any transaction with him in the disposal or exchatige of lands, fearing 
that he should outwit them in the dealing. 

An extract from the letter of a contemporary, Sir Christopher 
Wandesford, lord chief justice of Ireland, addressed to the Earl 
of Cumberland on the subject of his daughter the Lady Elizabeth 
Clifibrd's marriage with^Lord Dungarvon, after^'ards Lord Burling- 
ton, and eldest son of Lord Cork, supports the opinion I am inclined 
from various evidences to entertain of " the great earl," 

" I pass by the remoteness of the place, cutting off a great part of 
that comfort indulgent parents promise to themselves, by frequent 
enjoying and visiting their children and grandchildren. But that a 
branch sprung from honorable and famous ancestors should be 

x 2 

156 YOUGHALL. Chap. VIII. 

grafted into a newly planted and barely rooted stocke of honor, that 
a considerable part of ancyent possessions acquired and preserved 
by noble atchevements, shold be sufFred to devolve and be mingled 
with a hastily gotten and suspitiously kept fortune, I confess, in 
my judgment, requires very good conditionns to followe after, such 
as might probabely render a more comfortable life for the future to 
your swete daughter here then in another place. But, my lord, the 
comforts and blessings of marradg are not so plentifully sowen upon 
this land that wee may promiss she shall assuredly gather them, for it 
passeth under observation here, that from thoss nine daughters of his 
now living and bestowed in marradg, the comforte and fatherhoode 
that old age promiss to themselves from their children, is not reaped by 
him, and how much the quiet and composed condition of your daugh- 
ter's sWete and gentile affectionns may be perturbed and disordered by 
a harsh and incivill conversation, or what disanimation and distemper 
the discovery and prosecution of my Lord of Corke, by the quicke and 
impartiall sight of ray Lord Deputy, may bring with it, I most humbly 
submit to your lordship's more serious consyderation ; for if the day of 
retribution never come when the rest of his estate shal be questioned, 
yet it is not to be doubted that there will be a tyme given for the 
complaints of the church : for I am very confydent, since the suppres- 
sion of abbeys, no one man in either kingdome hath so violently, so 
frequently layde prophane hands, hands of power, upon the church 
and her possessions, (even almost to demohtion where he hath come) 
as this bold Earle of Corke. Of that 6000/. per annum estated nowe 
upon his sonn, I take full a third part to be spiritual deduction. 
Lismore, his principall house and seate, with lands worth near 2000/. 
per annum, the possessions of the bishop of Lismore, reserving a free 
rent of 20/. per annum for the bishop, torne from that sea by the 
poure of Sir Walter Rawley. Yughall (nowe to be the jointure-house 
of your swete daughter), a colledge consisting of a warden and eight 
personnes, all presentative and endowed, in value 800/. per annum, de- 

Chap.VIII. youghall. 157 

populated by himselfe (the incumbent warden yet living) and turned 
into a laye possession. And the better to support thess dignity es of the 
church, he hath, in commendam, nere one hundred spiritual livings, 
some impropriations, divers vicaridges, which he supplyeth by small 

Lord Cork naturally dreaded the investigation of titles to the Church 
lands by Lord Strafford, and we find him the avowed enemy of that 
unfortunate nobleman, many of whose actions seem to have arisen 
purely from motives of justice. Lord Cork in his own writing says, 
that he was prejudiced no less than 40,000/. in his personal estates, 
and in his inheritance 2000 marks yearly, by the arbitrary proceed- 
ings of Lord Strafford, on whose execution we find the following 
note in one of his diaries. 

" This day the Earl of Strafford was beheaded; no man died more 
univeJrsally hated, or less lamented by the people.'* The bitter un- 
charitableness of this comment on the death of a fallen enemy may 
perhaps be excused, had not the writer, after Strafford's attainder, 
meanly endeavoured to become reconciled to that minister, " fearing 
the king would still have protected him from the resentment of the 

The exertions of Lord Cork in raising and equipping men at his 
own expense, during the turbulent period of 1641, for which so much 
praise has been lavished upon his zeal and loyalty, can be regarded 
as nothing more than an act of self-defence, and the mere protection 
of his private property; for it must be remembered every indivi- 
dual at that time was of necessity obliged to appear in arms ; and as 
the possessor of an ext^isive district, it was impossible to avoid head- 
ing his own clan, or body of tenantry, if he wished to retain his 
estates or influence. 

This is placing Lord Cork's zeal and loyalty in the most favourable 
point of view ; for the eagerness with which he impeached as rebels the 
Lords Roche^ Montgarret, Skerrin, Muskery, Dunboyne, Castlecon- 


nell, Loughmore, and above eleven hundred persons of consequence, 
indictments against whom he submitted to the speaker of the EngUsh 
House of Commons, for the opinion of the law officers of the crown, 
as a security against any legal informality, cannot appear disinte- 
rested when we recollect the rapacious hint with which they were 
accompanied, that should the house direct the proceeding against all 
these individuals to outlawry, the value of their lands and possessions 
would be found to amount to more than 200,000/., and that he had 
been compelled to sell his plate for the support of the king's service, 
and had spent, *^ with a free heart and a liberal hand,'' all that he had, 
and was " able to do no more/' 

Sir Richard Cox (in the preface to his second volume of the His- 
tory of Ireland) bestows a long panegyric upon " the noble Earl of 
Cork," whom he describes as one of the most extraordinary persons 
either that or any other age has produced, with respect to the great 
and just acquisitions of estate that he made, and the pubhc works he 
began and finished for the advancement of the EngUsh interest and the 
Protestant religion in Ireland, as churches, alms-houses, free-schools, 
bridges, castles and towns ; viz. Lismore, Tallow, Cloghnakilty, Inis- 
keen, Castletown and Bandon, which last place cost him 14,000/. 
insomuch that when Cromwell saw these prodigious improvements, 
which he little expected to find in Ireland, he declared that if there 
had been an Earl Cork in every province, it would have been impos- 
sible for the Irish to have raised a rebellion. 

But it is evident, from what has been said, that the justice with 
which Lord Cork obtained his vast estates has not been questioned 
without reason ; and it will be seen that these prodigious improve- 
ments were the only means by which it was possible for him to 
render his newly acquired property productive, or give a value to 
tracts of country literally depopulated, by the desolating measures 
used for the suppression of Desmond's rebellion. 

Proof may be required of the vaunting tone in which Lord Cork 

Chap. VIII. YOUGHALL. 159 

constantly spoke of himself. Can a stronger be given than the 
severe rebuke with which Archbishop Laud concludes a letter ad- 
dressed by him to this nobleman ? 

" And whereas your Lordship writes at the latter end of your letters 
that you bestow a great part of your estates and time in charitable 
works, I am heartily glad to hear it ; but, withal, your Lordship 
will, I hope, give me leave to deal freely with you ; and then I must 
tell your Lordship, if you have done as you write, you have suffered 
strangely, for many years together, by the tongues of men, who have 
often and constantly affirmed that you have not been a very good 
friend to the church in the point of her maintenance. I hope these 
reports are not true ; but if they be, I cannot call your works cha- 
ritable, having no better foundation than the liveUhood of the church 
taken away to do them.'* 

I stand too far removed from the times of Lord Cork to be sus- 
pected of any indirect motive in representing his character in an 
unfavourable light, nor is it now a matter of much importance ; but 
so many points may be adduced to establish a contrary estimation 
to that we should naturally form of " the illustrious earF' from the 
statements of his biographers, that it would not be impartial to omit 
them in glancing at his history ; and many reflections of a more 
severe nature, couched in opprobrious terms, may be produced, 
which are omitted, as possibly originating in the jealousy often excited 
by posterity. 

Lord Cork is said to have powerfully advanced the English inte- 
reist in Ireland, and it must be granted, if the severest intolerance 
has been beneficial to the cause of Union: the bigotry of the 
Protestants against their Roman Catholic brethren in those towns 
under his influence reached a degree of marked violence unknown 
in any other part of the kingdom, and which feeling is not entirely 
eradicated at the present hour ; I need only instance the town of 

160 YOUGHALL. Chap. VIII. 

Bandon, where, over the principal gate, an inscription once stated 


Jew, Turk or Atheist 

May enter here 

But not a Papist.* 

At Youghall it was forbidden, in 1678, and remains on record, 
that a Papist should buy or barter any thing in the public market ; 
and the manuscript annals of the town, from which I have been 
favoured with extracts, afford evidence of the illiberality of its cor- 
poration towards those of the Catholic persuasion ; nor is it without 
regret that I add the enactments quoted were made during the 
mayoralties of ancestors of my own. 

In 1696, it was ordered that any person but a Protestant freeman, 
presuming to go to the mayor's feast, should pay five shillings, 
or be set in the stocks. 
1702. Several Papists, who had been admitted freemen, were dis- 
franched, and it was ordered that no Papist should be made 
free again. 
1744. Gregory Grimes, victualler, was disfranched, for having a 

Popish wife. 
I am tempted to notice, as curiosities, two other enactments of the 
same body. In the years I68O and I7OO, a cook and a barber were 
made freemen, on condition that they should severally dress the 

mayor's feasts, and shave the corporation, gratis. 

« mm 

During our stay at Youghall, Miss Nicholson accompanied me in 
a morning excursion to Ardmore, celebrated for its round tower. 
We crossed the river Blackwater, here dividing the counties of Cork 

* The following severe reply to this offensive inscription is said to have caused its 


'* Whoever wrote this, wrote it well. 

For the same is written on the gates of Hell/' 

PUBLIC ;.:v..ARY' 


TiLD N ' -^ I 



i>« ^./t,f(tn.,.t,irf 


Chap. VIIL 



and Waterford, in the public ferry-boat; from shore to shore is 
nearly an English mile, and it is perhaps the cheapest ferry in the 
kingdom, the charge for crossing and returning on the same day 
being only one penny each passenger ; yet this brings in a consider- 
able revenue to the corporation of Youghall, to whom the right of 
passage or ferry-boat was granted by a charter of EUzabeth, dated 
the 3d July, 1559, at the annual rent of 6$. Qd. We were told that 
the average number of persons who pass daily may be estimated at 
more than five hundred ; nor does this statement appear exaggerated, 
though in Ireland you seldom receive correct verbal information 
respecting space, distance, numbers, time, money or locahty, almost 
every account being at variance. 

The walk to Ardmore was about four Enghsh miles, over a rough 
and hilly road. Its round tower, the chief object of our visit, stands 
in a httle churchyard, on a rocky eminence, near a sandy cove or 
bay, and rises gigantically above smaller buildings-^these are, the 
church, and dormitory, or shrine, of St. Declan, which I examined, 
and sketched a ground-plan, explanatory of their relative situations. 



whilst Miss Nicholson made the annexed drawing. The church is 
evidently very ancient, from the massive irregularity of its architec- 




Chap. VIIL 

ture, and the clumsiness of the buttresses. At present, part of it 
only is roofed and used for service. 

On the exterior of the wall at the west end are twelve figures in 
bas-relief, I presume intended for the twelve Apostles, much decom- 
posed by age and the weather, each under a small Saxon arch; 
beneath these are two semi-circular projections, within which various 
bas-reliefs appear, executed without much attention to regularity. I 
have copied the entire effect, and three of the most perfect of these 
sculptures on a larger scale ; the subjects appear to be, the Baptism, 
a Sacrifice, and the Judgment of Solomon. 



Rude figures of Adam and Eve, with the Tree of Knowledge between 

them, are also to be distinctly seen. 

The dormitory or shrine is a mere stone hut, lighted by one small 

square window. In a corner of the gloomy interior are the remains 

of a tomb, over which, on a stone 
cross, is placed the decayed capital 
of a pillar ; but enthusiasm and 
superstition have converted it into 
a head of St. Declan. Many 
virtues are attributed to the earth 
taken out of this tomb, supposed 
to contain the ashes of that saint, 

which is made up in packets and sold to those who have faith in 

charms, as a preventive against various diseases. 

Y 2 

164 YOUGHALL. Chap. VIII. 

A painting of our Saviour, the unskilful production of some village 
artist, hung against the wall, and near it was a wooden cross ; bodi, 
I presume, viewed with strong feelings of veneration ; but there is 
always considerable reserve in the communication of any particulars 
respecting relics or similar objects. 

The Tower is constructed, with particular care, of hewn stone, 
and has four projecting belts round it, a circumstance of rather 
uncommon occurrence, as if to mark the stories, each of which 
gradually diminishes in circumference. The conical cap is consi- 
derably shaken, but still remains entire ; and Smith, whose History 
of Waterford appeared in 1746, mentions " a kind of cross like a 
crutch'' on the top, that is not now to be seen. In a tract lately 
published, on the Irish Pillar Tower, by Colonel de Montmorency 
Morres, it is said to have been brought down by repeated discharges 
of musket-balls, and the writer adds, he was informed on the 
spot, by persons who saw it, that this curious fragment resembled 
a shoe or monk's sandal. The height of Ardmore Tower is stated 
by Smith to be one hundred feet; but Dr. Dartnell, of Youghall, 
informed me he found it on measurement only ninety-one. The 
entrance, as nearly as I could judge, is between twelve and thirteen 
feet from the ground, and the circumference of the base about forty- 
five feet. In the upper story are four opposite windows, conside- 
rably larger than any other apertures in the building except the 

At present I will leave the theories of antiquarian speculators on 
the Irish Round Tower, for " legendary lore" as probable and more 
amusing than many opinions gravely advanced on the subject. 
These edifices are universally, regarded by the peasantry as the 
produce of supernatural agency. " As auld as the hills, your 
honour, and troth an' they say it was all built in a night," is the 
general reply tp any question about them ; a saint or a devil, a fairy 
or a .giant, are alternately the constructors, and the period of the 


work never exceeds one night. Latocnaye, in his " Promenade d'un 
Francois dans Tlrelande/' speaking of that at Cloyne, remarks, " si 
c'est le Diable qui Ta b^tie le Diable est un bon mapon/' The 
visitor of Ardmore will hear abundance of tales, in which the patron 
saint, Declan, appears as the " minister of miracles.'* That pious per- 
sonage of course built the tower, which, it is affirmed, would possi- 
bly have reached the sky, if his operations had not been interrupted 
by an inquisitive old woman, when he hastily concluded his work, 
and, seizing the intruder, flung her with one twirl to the top, where 
the remains of her bones continued, until within a few years, a warn- 
ing to her sex. The " cross like a crutch'' has doubtless given rise 
to this legend. On the shore, a mass of rock is pointed out, equally 
under the patronage of St Declan, beneath which it is possible to 
creep at low water, and the ceremony, if performed on the saint's 
day, is supposed to relieve the most grievous rheumatic pains, provided 
the patient, with becoming faith, can insinuate himself through the 
cavity three times, repeating certain prayers. This rock is reported 
to have floated from Rome, bearing the consecrated vestments of St. 
Declan, arid a bell for the tower ; on whose second journey from 
thence into Ireland, says Dr. Hanmer, in his Chronicle, he " arrived 
in a place called Ard-naciored, in Latine Altitudo ovium, now called 
Ardmore, the which spile the Lord of Nandesi gave him, where 
goodly buildings have beene, iand as the record runneth — ' Civitas 
sancti Declani quae in eo loco posita est, vocatur Ardmore, id est 
altitudo magna.' " 

Many Irish manuscripts mention St. Declan ; and extracts from a 
manuscript life were published by Archbishop Usher, in which the 
good saint is stated to have converted several of the Irish to Christi- 
anity some years before the arrival of St. Patrick. On the 24th of 
July (called St. Declan's Day), vast numbers of the country people 
flock to Ardmore for the purposes of penance and prayer ; and I 
was informed that a skull, encased with silver, is then exhibited as 
the genuine cranium of that saint. 



— '^ The women mix their cries, and damoor iUla the fields. 

The waiiike wakes continued all the night. 

And funeral games were played at new returning light." 


^^ An easy death and a fine funeral" is a proverbial benediction 
amongst the lower orders in Ireland. Throughout Hfe the peasant 
is accustomed to regard the manner and place of his interment as 
matters of the greatest importance ; " to be decently put in the 
earth, along with his own people/' is the wish most frequently 
and fervently expressed by him. When advanced in life, it is usual, 
particularly with those who are destitute and friendless, to deny 
themselves the common necessaries of hfe and to hoard up every 
trifle they can collect for the expenses of their wake and funeral. 
Looking forward to their death as to a gala given by them to their 
acquaintances, every possible preparation is made for rendering it, as 
they consider, " creditable f their shroud and burial dress are often 
provided many years before they are wanted ; nor will the owners 
use these garments whilst living, though existing in the most abject 


State of wretchedness and rags. It is not unusual to see even the 
tombstone in readiness, and leaning against the cabin wall, a perpe- 
tual " memento mori" that must meet the eye of its possessor every 
time he crosses his threshold. 

There is evidently a constitutional difference in the composition of 
the English and Irish peasant; but this peculiarity may be more 
satisfactorily accounted for by the prevailing belief with the latter of 
a future state being a material one, and subject to wants even more 
urgent than those of this life ; under this impression, shoes, considered 
a luxury quite unworthy a thought, are believed almost indispensable 
after death, when it is supposed much walking has to be performed, 
probably through rough roads and inclement weather. The super- 
stition evidently proceeds from the tenet of purgatory or qualification 
for heaven, held by the Romish church ; and on this particular, the 
general belief of the Irish peasantry is somewhat at variance with the 
representations of their pastors : the priest describes it as a place of 
fire, but the people imagine it to be a vast and dreary extent, strewed 
with sharp stones and abounding in thorns and brambles. 

The influence of this doctrine affects rich and poor, according to 
their circumstances, and is a most valuable one, for I have been 
assured the emolument it yields to the Catholic church of Ireland, 
by a late limited calculation, exceeds 650,000/. per annum. 

The attachment manifested towards particular burial-places arises 
from the same cause ; and the anxiety amongst the vulgar to be in- 
terred with their deceased relatives, bestows even on death a feeling 
of social interest. 

A remarkable instance occurred not long since. An old beggar 
woman, who died near the city of Cork, requested that her body 
might be deposited in White Church burial ground. Her daughter, 
who was without the means to obtain a hearse or any other mode of 
conveyance, determined herself to undertake the task, and, having 


procured a rope, she fastened the coffin on her back, and, after a 
tedious journey of more than ten miles, fulfilled her mother's request. 

This national trait may be recognized in an advertisement copied 
from the Sydney Gazette of the 1st October, 1814, the existing regu- 
lations of which colony oblige every person to give public notice of 
their departure. 

^^ Dennis Hurley, intending to quit the colony in the Seringapa^ 
tarn, to visit the land of his forefathers, where he hopes, after this 
life of toil and trouble, to rest under his native turf, requests that all 
claim sagainst him may be presented for payment.^' Mr. Hurley, 
I presume, was one of those " real patriots'^ 

'* who, be it understood. 

Have left their country for their country's good/* 

Separate interests (as in the case of marriage) often cause disputes 
at funerals; and as no acknowledged rule exists in such cases, a battle 
usually ends the dissension, and the corpse is borne away in triumph 
by the victorious .party to a cemetery perhaps twenty miles distant 
from that originally intended. 

At a Roman Catholic clergyman's ftineral, which took place 
recently in the South of Ireland, the fathers of his order were opposed 
by the relations of the deceased, who wished the coffin to be conveyed 
to their family vault, but the attempt proved fruitless, as the fathers, 
anticipating opposition timely, procured so strong a force that the 
assailing faction was beat off, and a guard was stationed on the 
grave for some weeks after to prevent the dead man's resurrection, 
should it be attempted. 

I remember once overhearing a contest between a poor man and 
his wife, respecting the burial of their infant. The woman wished 
to have the child laid near some of her own relations, which the hus- 
band strongly opposed, concluding her attachment to her friends 


was superior to her love for him ; but he was soon convinced by his 
wife's argument, that as her sister had died in child-birth only a few 
days previous, she would afford their poor infant suck, which nourish- 
ment it might not have if buried elsewhere. 

Another instance of similar superstition occurred in the case of a 
woman, who presented several beggars with a loaf and porringer, 
that her deceased child might not want a porringer or bread in the 
next world. She accounted for her knowledge of the wants of an 
after-state by saying that a very good man, who used to have occa- 
sional trances, in which it was known his soul left his body and 
became familiar with disembodied spirits, returning to its former 
habitation after a short absence, told her, on his recovery from one 
of these fits, that children, dying at an early age, whose parents' 
neglect deprived them of the use of a porringer, were obUged to lap 
milk out of their hands; whilst others, who were provided in life with 
one, had a similar article prepared for their comfort in a future state ; 
and " now,'' continued the woman, as she bestowed her last loaf and 
porringer on a mendicant, " my mind is eased of its burthen, and 
my poor child is as happy as the best of them." 

Many other anecdotes of the same nature might be related, but 
these are sufficient for the purpose of illustration. 

The belief also of a similarity between spiritual and mortal exist- 
ence extends, not merely to necessities, but to points of etiquette. 

It is a general opinion amongst the lower orders, that the last 
buried corpse has to perform an office like that of " fag" in our 
public schools by the junior boy, or at a regimental mess by the 
youngest officer ; and that the attendance on his churchyard com- 
panions is only reheved by the interment of some other person. The 
notion may seem too absurd, yet serious consequences have some- 
times resulted from it ; and an instance comes within my recollection 
where two funerals, proceeding to the same burial-ground, arrived 
within view of each other a short distance from their place of destijna- 



tion. Both immediately halted, and a messenger was mutually 
despatched to demand precedence; their conference terminated in 
blows, and the throng on both sides forsaking the coffins, rushed 
impetuously forward, when a furious contest ensued, in which some 
lives were lost. 

It is a prevalent notion that the ghost of a stranger is seldom well 
received by the ancient possessors of a churchyard, particularly if it 
has long been reserved to a clan or sept, when the " cuggeriegh,'^ or 
intruder, is sadly annoyed by his associates. There is in this a 
strange variation between life and death in the Irish character, as the 
trait of hospitality towards strangers is proverbially predominant 
while living. 

When priests, or others noted for their sanctity, die, their graves 
are resorted to for some of the clay, which is mingled with water and 
drank for the cure of various diseases. 

Sir Richard Musgrave mentions that earth from the grave of Father 
Sheehy, who was executed about the middle of the last century as 
the leader of some White Boy outrages, was held in great repute, and 
taken away so rapidly, on account of its supernatural powers, that 
the sexton had more than once to renew the covering. Recent ca^s 
may be named, where this custom has been carried to such lengths 
that it was interdicted under the threat of exemplary punishment. 

The wake of a corpse is a scene of merriment rather than of 
mourning. The body lies exposed in the coffin for two or three 
nights previous to interment, surrounded by many candles, and with 
the face uncovered. To avert misfortune arising from the death of 
the heads of famiUes, when a man dies his head is placed at the foot 
of the bed ; but this ceremony is not deemed necessary with women, 
and they are allowed to remain in the usual position. In the even- 
ing a general assembly of the neighbours takes place, when they are 
entertained with whiskey, tobacco and snuff. On these occasions 
songs are sung and stories related, while the younger part of the 


company beguile the time with various games, and sports, such 
as blind man's buff, or hunt the slipper. Dancing, or rather run- 
ning in a ring, round an individual, who peiforms various evolutions, 
is also a common amusement; and four or five young men will 
sometimes, for the diversion of the party, blacken their faces, and 
go through a regular series of gestures with sticks, not unUke those 
of the English morris dancers. Amongst the games played at wakes, 
are two which I have never observed out of Ireland, and from their 
being so universal with thepeasantry,they are probablyof considerable 
antiquity. One of these is called " the walls of Troy,'' and the other 
" short castle." Of the former, although I took some pains to acquire it, 
I now find myself unable to give a satisfactory description ; the latter is 
played on lines (usually marked with chalk) in this form. 
Each player is provided with three counters, (small black 
and white pebbles, or shells,) which are singly deposited 
on the board in turn : the game is won by getting these three countere 
in a straight line. The centre point is considered the most advan- 
tageous, and is always taken by the first player ; when all the coun- 
ters are deposited, moves are made from one point to the next, should 
it be imoccupied, and so on, until a careless move on either side 
decides the game, by allowing the adversary to form his three coun- 
ters in a row. 

An Irish funeral procession will present to the English traveller a 
very novel and singular aspect. The coffin is carried on an open 
hearse, with a canopy supported by four pillars, not unlike the car 
used at Lord Nelson's funeral ; it is adorned with several devices in 
gold, and drawn by four horses, and is, perhaps, more impressive to 
the beholder, than the close caravan-like conveyance used in England ; 
but what is gained in solemnity by the principal feature, is suddenly 
destroyed by the incongruity of the rest of the train, generally com- 
posed of a few postchaises, the drivers in their daily costume of a long 
great coat and slouched hat. In addition to these, I have seen a gig 



in which the clergyman (I imagine, by his being equipped in a white 
scarf and hat-band) drove a friend ; afterwards came a crowd of 
persons of all descriptions on foot. No noise, no lamentations were 
to be heard ; but the figure in the flowing white scarf brandishing 
his whip, gave it, at a little distance, ver^ much the effect of an elec- 
tioneering procession. 

The open hearse is common throughout Ireland, and that used by 
the poorer classes becomes perfectly grotesque, from the barbarous 
paintings of saints and angels with which it is bedizened. The 
concourse of persons who attend the funeral of an opulent farmer, 
or a resident landlord, is prodigious. Not only those to whom the 
deceased was known, but every one who meets the procession, turns 
to accompany it, let his haste be ever so great, for a mile or two, as 
nothing is accounted more unlucky, or unfriendly, than to neglect 
doing so. 

' The funeral of a gentleman acknowledged as the head of a plan 
(now an event of rare occurrence, and almost solely confined to the 
county Kerry) is one of thosie sights it is impossible to behold with- 
out feeling sublime sensations. The vast multitude, winding through 
some romantic defile, or trailing along the base of a wild mountain, 
while the chorus of the death-song, coming fitfully upon the breeze, 
is raised by a thousand voices. On a closer view, the aged nurse is 
seen sitting on the hearse beside the coflSn, with her body bent over 
it ; her actions dictated by the most violent grief, and her head com- 
pletely enveloped in the deep hood of her large cloak, which falls in 
broad and heavy folds, producing altogether a most mysterious and 
awful figure. 

Then at every cross-road, such roads being considered symbolic 
of their faith, there is a general halt ; the men uncover their heads, 
and a prayer is offered up for the soul of their departed chief. 

The Irish funeral howl is notorious, and although this vociferous 
expression of grief is on the dechne, there is still, in the less civilized 


parts of the country, a strong attachment to the custom, and many 
may yet be found who are keeners or mourners for the dead by pro- 

In the fourth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Aca- 
demy, the musical notation of one of these lamentations may be seen ; 
and Dr. O'Brien, in his Irish dictionary, describes the keen* as — " a 
cry for the dead, according to certain loud and mournful notes, and 
verses, wherein the pedigree, land, property, generosity and good 
actions of the deceased person, and his ancestors, are dihgently and 
harmoniously recounted, in order to excite pity and compassion in 
the hearers, and to make them sensible of their great loss in the death 
of the person whom they lament/' 

Having a curiosity to hear the Keen more distinctly sung than over 
a corpse, when it is accompanied by a wild and inarticulate uproar 
as a chorus, I procured an elderly woman, who was renowned for 
her skill in keening, to recite for me some of these dirges. This 
woman, whose name was Harrington, led a wandering kind of life, 
traveUing from cottage to cottage about the country, and though in 
fact subsisting on charity, found every where not merely a welcome, 
but had numerous invitations, on account of the vast store of Irish 
verses she had collected, and could repeat. Her memory was indeed 
extraordinary ; and the clearness, quickness, and elegance with which 
she translated from the Irish into English, though unable to read or 
write, is almost incredible. Before she commenced repeating, she 
mumbled for a short time, probably the beginning of each stanza, to 
assure herself of the arrangement, with her eyes closed, rocking her 
body backwards and forwards, as if keeping time to the measure of 

* " This Irish word, written by our late grammarians Ca6ine, but anciently, and pro'- 
. perly Cine, is almost equal in letters and pronunciation to the Hebrew Cina, which sig- 
nifies lamentation, or crying, with clapping of hands, lamentatio, planctus, ploratus — vide 
2 Sam. i. 17; and in its plural Cinim, lamentations — vide Ez. ii. 10. Welch Kuyn is a 


the verse. She then began in a kind of whining recitative, but as she 
proceeded and as the composition required it, her voice assumed a 
variety of deep and fine tones, and the energy with which many pas- 
sages were deUvered, proved her perfect comprehension and strong 
feeUng of the subject, but her eyes always continued shut, perhaps to 
prevent interruption to her thoughts, or her attention being engaged 
by any surrounding object. 

From several keens which I took down from this woman's dictation, 
I have selected four, and to each I have attached a short explanatory 
introduction. They will doubtless appear to the English reader odd 
combinations of the sublime and vulgar. . 

Number T. 

A keen composed on Sir Richard Cox the historian, who died in 
1733 ; the first verse presents a curious picture of Irish hospitality. 

" My love and darling, though I never was in your kitchen, yet I 
have heard an exact account of it. The brown roast meat conti- 
nually coming from the fire ; the black boilers continually boiling ; 
the cock of the beer-barrel for ever running; and if even a score of 
men came in, no person would inquire their business ; but they would 
give them a place at your table, and let them eat what they pleased, 
nor would they bring a bill in the morning to them.^' 

" My love and friend, I dreamed through my morning slumbers, 
that your castle fell into decay, and that no person remained in it. 
The birds sung sweetly no longer, nor were there leaves upon the 
bushes ; all was silence and decay! — ^the dream told me that our be- 
loved man was lost to us — ^that the noble horseman was gone! the 
renowned Squire Cox ! 

" My love and darling, you were nearly related to the Lord of 
Clare, and to O'Donovan of Bawnlehan ; to Cox with the blue eyes 


and to Townsend of White Court This is the appointed day for your 
inneral, and yet I see none of them coming to place even a green sod 
over you/' 

Number II. 

Is the lamentation of a man named O'Donoghue, of Afiadown, or 
Roaring Water, in the west of the county Cork, for his three so^s and 
son-in-law, who were drowned. " The wild geese^'' an idiom used in 
the last verse, was a popular name given to such young men as volun- 
teered into the Irish brigade. 

" It was on a rainy Monday ; a fair gale blew, and my sons left 
the shore an half an hour before sun-rise to fish in the sea ; my 
children were driven far away to be drowned. This year has been 
the year of my ruin for ever V 

*^ Cormick (Charles), my eldest child, he could kill with his gun 
every bird that flew in air, — ^the wild duck, and the partridge, and the 
grouse, and black plover of the lonesome moimtainsK' 

" Cormick, my dear ! — ^flower of young men, who was mild and well 
educated, who was just and pure and good ! — Oh ! glorious King of 
Heaven, if thou hadst but spared him to me ! — It was the loss of him 
that broke my heart entirely; I might — ^I could have parted with the 


" Daniel, my dear Daniel, the youngest of my sons, it was this day 
fortnight he was washed on shore, without strength or life in his 
.body. I saw him as he lay lifeless upon the shore, and my heart 
was cold and dumb and motionless at the sight!'' 

** Children, dear children, do you pity me? do you see me ? look on 
ine, your poor father crying and lamenting for the sunshine of his 
eyes; for the life of his life, for the soul of his soul; what is he now? 
— a poor broken hearted old man, weeping alone in the cold comer 
of a stranger's house '/' 

" Great is my grief and sorrow ! sadness and tears weigh heavy on 


my Christmas. To have my four young and stout men thrown on 
the will of the waves ! If the great ocean, or the dark caves of the 
ocean would restore the three bodies that now lie in its depths, how 
beautifully they would be keened and. lamented over in Affadown V 
" Great is my grief and sorrow that you did not all go from your 
father on board ship ! — or if my sons had left me for a season, like 
the wild geese, to go to a foreign land, then might I have expected 
from my Maker the help of my four mild and clever young men at 
some future time.'" 

Number III. 

About the middle of the last century, Mr. O'Sulhvan the younger, 
of Beerhaven, or, as he was called, Morty Oge O'Sullivan, possessed 
considerable influence in the west of the county Cork. The chief of 
a rude and mountainous district, and supported by a numerous and 
hardy body of dependants, he had long set both the laws and magis- 
terial authority at defiance. Grown confident in his own strength, and 
fearless of legal punishment, he became an agent for the French and 
Spanish governments, enlisting men for their service in Ireland, and 
transporting them in a vessel of his own to the continenL Mr. Pux- 
ley, a neighbouring gentleman of respectability, laid informations 
before the secretary of state, of such notoriously disloyal conduct, and 
O'Sullivan, actuated by revenge, having by some means gained intel- 
ligence, waylaid and shot Mr. Puxley on his retum from church. This 
daring assassination called for a particular visitation, and on the 2d 
May, 1754, a party of military, commanded by Lieutenant Appleton, 
was despatched from Cork to Beerhaven, where they arrived on the 
Saturday following about midnight. O'Sullivan, expecting an attack, 
had fortified his residence, and posted sentinels, who were surprised ; 
but the barking of a dog alarnjed the inmates, and they obstinately 
defended themselves for some time, until the house was set on fire, 
when O'Sullivan, appearing at the door, was shot through the heart 


Many of his men were killed or severely wounded in this engagement, 
and two were made prisoners, one of whom was Connell, the reputed 
author of the following lamentation. 

The vessel employed by O'Sullivan in canning on his illegal traffic 
with France was immediately sunk by a king's cutter sent round for 
the purpose, to the stem of which his body being lashed, was towed 
through the water to Cork ; his head was afterwards spiked on the 
south gaol of that city, and his remains interred in a bastion of the 
New Fort. 

Connell was the confidential servant of this disaffected character, 
and is reported to have composed and sung the present threnody, the 
night previous to his execution. 

" Murty, my dear and loved master, you carried the sway for 
strength and generosity. It is my endless grief and sorrow— sorrow 
which admits of no comfort, that your white head should be gazed 
at as a shew upon a spike, and that your noble frame is without 

" I have travelled with you, my dear and much loved master, in 
foreign lands, and through various provinces and counties, and in 
the royal prince's army, when we moved with kings. But it is 
through the means of Puxley that I am left in grief and confinement 
in Cork, locked in heavy irons, and without the hope of being re- 

" The great God is good and merciful ! I ask his grace and pardon, 
and his support, for I am to be hanged at the gallows to*morrow 
without doubt ; the rope will squeeze my neck, and thousands will 
lament my fate, but may the Lord have mercy upon my master ! it 
was for his sake that I am now in their power.'' 

" Kerryonians (Kerrymen), pray for us ! sweet and melodious is 
your voice, my blessing I give to you, but you will never see me 
again amongst you alive ; our heads will be upon a spike as a shew, 

A A 


under the cold snow of the night, and the burning sun of the summer, 
and every other change of weather/' 

" Oh ! that I was ever bom ! — oh ! that I ever returned to Beerhaven ! 
Mine was the best of masters that Ireland could produce; may our 
souls be floating to-morrow in the rays of endless glory !" 

" The lady his wife, heavy is her grief, and who may wonder at 
that, were her eyes even made of green stone ; when he, her dear 
husband, was shot by that ball ? If he had retreated, our grief might 
have been lighter, but the brave man would not, for the pride of his 
country, retreat/' 

*^ He has been in kings' palaces, and in Spain he got a pension; the 
lady of Clare gave him robes bound with gold lace as a token of re- 
membrance. He became a captain on the coast of France, and yet 
should he return to Ireland for us to lose him." 

" There is a lady in London who expects him every day with his 
vessel/' ♦ » ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

The rest wanting.* 

* Since this volume has gone to press, I have observed in Blackwood's Magazine^ a para- 
phrase on O'Sullivan's elegy, or rather verses founded on the circumstances of his death. 
The relation by which they are prefaced in that publication strangely coincides with what 
I have written, except in ascribing the death of O'SuUivan to the treachery of a menial, 
named Scully, and attributing to his nurse the framing of this composition. The reader 
may thank me for transcribing these spirited verses. 

The sun on Ivera no longer shines brightly ; 

The voice of her music no longer is sprightly ; 

No more to her maidens the light dance is dear, 

Since the death of our darling, O'Sullivan Bear. 

Scully ! thou false one, you basely betrayed him. 
In his strong hour of need when thy right hand should aid him ; 
He fed thee, he clad thee, you had all could delight thee. 
You left him, you sold him, may Heav'n requite thee ! 

Scully ! may all kinds of evil attend thee '! 
On thy dark road of life may no kind one befriend thee ! 


Number IV. 

The account given of this lamentation, called the " Smith's Keenan/' 
is at once simple and romantic. A young man (a smith) left his 
widowed mother and sisters, who resided at Killavulhan on the Black- 
water, and married in a distant part of the country. Some time after, 
one of his sisters, hearing that he was ill, set out to see him, but before 
she reached her destination, the night came on, which compelled her, 
being ignorant of the way, to seek shelter at a cottage on the road 
side; here she found the inmates preparing to proceed to a wake in 
the village where her brother resided, and going forward with them, 
on arrival discovered it to be her brother's wake, at the sight of whose 

May fevers long bum thee, and agues long freeze thee ! 
May the strong hand of God in his red anger seize thee ! 

Had he died calmly I ivould not deplore him ; 
Or if the wild strife of the sea-war closed o*er him; 
But with ropes round his white limbs through oceans to trail him. 
Like a fish after slaughter, 'tis therefore I wail him. 

Long may the curse of his people pursue them ; 
Scully, that sold him, and soldier that slew him ! 
One glimpse of Heav Vs light, may they see never ; 
May the hearth-stone of hell be their best bed for ever. 

In the hole, which the vile hands of soldiers had made thee ; 
Unhonoured, unshrouded, and headless they laid thee; 
No sigh to regret thee, no eye to rain o'er thee. 
No dirge to lament thee, no friend to deplore thee. 

Dear head of my darling ! how gory and pale 
These aged eyes see thee, high spik'd on their gaol ! 
Thy cheek in the summer sun ne'er shall grow warm ; 
Nor that eye e'er catch light, but the flash of the storm. 

A curse, blessed ocean, is on thy green water. 
From the haven of Cork, to Ivera of slaughter ; 
Since thy billows were dyed with the red wounds of fear» 
Of Muiertach Oge, our O'SuIlivan Bear. 
A A 2 


lifeless body she burst into the following exclamations. The con- 
clusion is singular; nor is it possible for a translation to do justice to 
the strain of powerful sarcasm in the original, directed against the 
wife of the deceased. 

" Brother, dear brother ! your long absence from home did not 
raise you in this world, you left us, and you found a wife who knew 
not how to love you. No one here knows your family, you are in 
the midst of strangers ; they only know that you were a smith, and 
son of a smith, from the Blackwater's side V' 

" Oh! if I had your cold limbs by the Blackwater's side, or on the 
banks of the small river (the Awbeg), or by the Bride ; Mary and 
Kate and Julia would cry over you, and our mother would cry 
most sweetly for you ; and I, oh ! I would cry more than them all 
for you !" 

" Oh ! brother, dear brother — I might have known that you were 
laid low, when I did not hear the sound of your forge, or of your 
sledges, striking strong and noisy !'' 

" Dear brother, and my darling brother, you have the marks of a 
wife that did not love you; she left my brother hungry in the winter, 
and dry in the summer ; without a Sunday dress, and the sufferer 
from long fasting :" ^ 

" You woman, his wife ! my brother's wife, you woman with the 
dry eyes; you womap-^ho are both dumb and deaf; go home! 
go any where, leav^' your Imsband to me, and I will mourn for my 

** You woman above with the dry eyes ! my brother's wife, come 
down, and I will keen you ; you will get another husband if you are 
young enough : but 1 can never get a brother !" 

(The priest comes forward and speaks.) 

" Hold your tongue, stubborn stranger, why will you provoke your 
brother's wife ?" 


(She answers.) 

" Hold your tongue, stubborn priest ! read your Litany and Con- 
fiteor: earn your half-crown and begone : I will keen my brother." 

These examples of the keen, notwithstanding their inequality of 
sentiment, and the injury sustained by a literal translation, will not, 
I am confident, appear wholly destitute of merit, although it is evi- 
dent there are many passages and allusions, which those unacquainted 
with local manners and history, can neither feel nor understand cor- 
rectly. But under any circumstances, the natural expression of 
sorrow awakens our sympathy, for the simple language of grief is 
always poetical. 

The national exclamations used on the death of a friend or an ac- 
quaintance are often very figurative: " May the heavens be his 
perch to-night!" is no uncommon ejaculation, on first hearing of the 
loss of such. What an original metaphor is this, and what a fine 
allegorical picture does it present I the soul springing upwards like a 
bird, and resting its weary wings after the flight, in some " bower of 

Nor are keens merely orally preserved amongst the peasantry. I 
have three original Irish death-songs in M.S. now lying before me, 
the most recent of which, on a namesake of my own, is dated 21st 
January, 1822, and consists of thirteen verses, not worth translating, 
but the English, preface prefixed to it is curious, as a specimen of the 
modern bardic spirit, and is transcribed verbatim. 

'^ I can most undoubtedly testify that since the death of Captaia 
O'Sullivan Beer Haven, I did not see nor hear any man died so much 
regretted for, nor even so free from the least stain or blemish attached 
to his character, as the most worthy and nmch lamented Edward 
Croker, Esq. near Curriglass. 

Declared and certified by me the poet, 

William Cremon." 

Keens are also a medium through which the disaffected circulate 


their mischievous principles, and this they do without much attempt 
at concealment, the Irish language being a sufficient cloak for the 
expression of seditious sentiments; few, if any, of the gentry being 
acquainted with it, as they consider it too vulgar and inelegant to form 
a part of their studies. 

Those criminals whose lives have been forfeited in the cause of 
rebellion, derive no small consolation from the idea of martyrdom, 
which they imagine they have attained, and in this they are en- 
couraged by the popular voice, apostrophising their shade as that of 
an hero and a patriot. Their countrymen are called upon to revenge 
their death, and to recover the estates of their Milesian ancestors, 
whose spirit has alone descended to them ; on that spirit and what 
it will achieve, many verses are frequently bestowed. It is compared 
to the mountain-eagle, that, even in bondage, the hand of strangers 
could not tame ; to the mountain-torrent, that would suddenly burst 
forth with overwhelming inundation, and destroy the lands where the 
cold hearted Saxons revelled. 

When the awful sentence of death has been pronounced by the 
judge on an Irish culprit, it is not unusual for him to petition that 
his body may be given to his friends after execution, and, if this is 
granted, he meets his fate with fortitude and resignation. Those, who 
from their official capacity have been obliged to witness such dis- 
tressing scenes, have often expressed their surprize at the dying decla- 
ration of men who were convicted on the clearest and most unques- 
tionable evidence, that they were innocent of the crime for which 
they were about to suffer, and this assertion has been supported by 
the most solemn appeals to the Deity. It is only charitable to consider 
so palpable a falsehood uttered by those on the very brink of eter- 
nity, as the result of absolution on the ignorant mind; the 
doctrine by which the murderer can conscientiously declare his 
innocence has something in it irreconcilably opposed to truth and 


. If a complete account of the crimes and conduct at the place of 
execution of those who had been convicted by the law in Ireland 
since the Articles of Limerick, could now be drawn up, I am persuaded 
it would afford a moral and political view of the country, the result of 
which would surprize even the best acquainted with these subjects. 
Dean Swift appears to have entertained the same idea, and he accor- 
dingly made a collection of the printed dying speeches of Irish cul- 
prits, which he enriched with his own invaluable comments : one of 
the volumes of this series was in my possession for a short time, 
whence I take some extracts, to give an idea of the general tenour of 
the dying speeches of the last century. The first of these explains 
the point of copyright in such matters, the others are distinguished 
by their soundness of reasoning. 

" The last speech and dying words of Valentine Kealy and Cor- 
nealus Sulivan, who is both to be executed near St. Stephen's green, 
this present Saturday, being the 13th instant, March, 1724-5, for rob- 
bery s committed by them. 

The Speech of Valentine Kealy. 
Good people, 

I am advised by several of my acquaintances 
to give my speech from my own mouth to some printer, in order to 
. prevent others of that trade from printing sham speeches of me ; 
therefore (by their per swations) I sent for the printer in Montr ath 
Street, to whom I made the following true speech, and if any other 
prints it, I assure you it is false,"' &c. 

The Speech ofCornealm Sulivan. 
Dear Christians, 

I at first had no thoughts to make any speech, 
by reason I am far from my friends or relations, but seeing my fellow 
sufferer doing it I thought fit to do the same, which is in manner fol- 
lowing,^' &c. 


Captain M^Dermot, who was hanged at Cavan on the 30th March^ 
1725, for murder, explains his situation thus — 

^' And I, who was taught to read the Latin, English, and Irish 
tongues, and was naturally complaisant to all mankind, am here made 
an example for the sins of my forefethers/' 

As a companion to this, is ^' an elegy on the death of Mr. Jo. 
Poe, who unfortunately departed this life at Kilmainham gallows, Oc- 
tober 20th, 1725/' 

The first edition of the Cork Remembrancer, a book which should 
rather be entitled the Cork Criminal Recorder, published in 1783, and 
compiled by a Mr. Fitzgerald, contains the particulars of almost every 
execution in that city, during the preceding half century. I have 
been told that the author of this singular chronicle made a point of 
being present at the death of every crimind whose exit he has re- 
corded, and he generally marched in the procession from the gaol to 
the gallows : on one occasion it is reported of Mr. Fitzgerald, that, 
being confined to his bed by a severe illness, he actually petitioned 
the judge to postpone an execution, until he was sufficiently recovered 
to become a spectator. 



Then towns he quicken'd by mechanic arts^ 
And bade the fervent city glow with tcnl; 

Bade social commerce raise renowned marts. 
Join land to land^ and mairy soil to soil.*' 


Cork is entirely a commercial city, and the principal town for ex- 
ports in Ireland. From the traffic carried on here, and the natural 
advantages of its situation for trade, an old rhyme may possibly 
prove prophetic. Alluding to the military consequence of Limerick 
at the close of the seventeenth century, it tells us that 

" Limerick was — Dublin is — but Cork will be 
The greatest city of the three," 

Places of trade, however important to the prosperity of a country, 
seldom possess attractions for strangers who may visit them on 
other than mercantile pursuits ; nor will the origin of the name of Cork 
excite expectations, its supposed derivation being from the Irish word 
Corcagh or Curkig, signifying a swamp or morass ; the city standing 

B B 

186 CORK. Chap. X. 

on several marshy islands. Some, however, derive the name from 
Corrogh, the Irish for a boat or small vessel ; while tradition draws 
it from Core, a native monarch, whose palace stood on the ground 
now inundated by the Lough, immediately without the suburbs on 
the Kinsale road ; but whatever the name may have originated in, 
it has been the subject of many witticisms. When Foote was asked 
by an Irish nobleman, at whose table the botde had circulated freely, 
if he had ever been at Cork ? his reply was, " No, my lordj but I have 
seen many drawings of it this evening;'' and an apology of Curran's, 
to a foppishly dressed packet companion, when coming from Ireland 
to England in his old fashioned and shabby coat, was a declaration, 
that he made it a point to go to sea in a cork jacket. 

The foundation of Cork has been attributed to a Danish colony 
in the ninth or tenth century. Its buildings are neither curious from 
their antiquity, or beautiful as specimens of architecture, a few recent 
edifices excepted, built under the direction of Mr. Thomas Deane, 
to whose liberality and talent, aided by indefatigable exertions, Cork 
is indebted for numerous improvements. 

The Parade, South Mall, and some of the modern streets are of 
good proportions, but the irregularity of the houses destroys that 
appearance of uniformity so necessary to constitute a fine city; this 
irregularity is even increased in its effect by variety of colour, the 
stone used for building in the northern suburbs being of a reddish 
brown, and in the southern of a cold grey tint. One side of the most 
conspicuous church steeple, that of St. Anne's or Upper Shandon, has 
been actually built with red stone, and the other three of limestone ; 
add to this opposition of colours, houses sheathed with deep blue and 
purple slates, as a protection from the weather, some built entirely of 
red brick, others stained with a dark yellow wash, and an idea of the 
harmony, or rather discord, may be formed. Few cities, therefore, 
are more calculated than Cork, to impress a traveller with an opinion 
of the independent feeling of its inhabitants. 

Chap. X. CORK. 187 

The streets are ill-paved with small sharp stones, and the footways 
(except parts of the' main street) unflagged. By the measurement 
made for a Paving Board lately estabhshed in Cork, from whose 
labours much pubUc good may proceed, there appeared to be 
600,530 square ydrds occupied by the streets and lanes of that city, 
a space equal to about one hundred and twenty-four acres. 

The quays, when finished according to the plan laid down by the 
Harbour Commissioners, who are embodied by act of parlianient, 
()romise to be a splendid improvement in the appearance of Cork ; 
and the opening of a new street to the western part of the town, 
which before could only be gained by narrow and dirty lanes, will be 
a considerable advantage, as affording a desirable communication to 
an agreeable walk called the Mardyke, the Mansion House, and some 
good streets which had fallen into disrepute in consequence of the 
former approach. 

The main street is the most ancient ; it was divided into north and 
south by a bridge and a jcastle, on the site of the latter stands the 
Exchange that 

'-" cringing from the northern blast. 

Hides half its ample front in Castle Street." 

It is a heavy, inelegant building, and being no longer used for 
commercial purposes ought to be removed. A picture of this street, 
at once just and humorous, is given in an admirable little satire which 
I once met with. 

here you may see 

New houses^ proudly eminent o'er old, 
Confus'dly interspersed — the old are clad 
In sober state — the new are gay with brick. 
Like new red buttons on an old blue coat. 
Time may perchance — ^long time with chance conspire 
To deck them all in livery of brick. 
So worsted stockings (I have heard) a pair 
By constant darning have been changed to silk !" 
B B 2 

188 CORK. Chap. X. 

This street may be said to have constituted the city of Cork until 
the year 1600; take Camden's account of the place : 

" Enclosed within a circuit of walls in forme of an egge with the 
river flowing round about it, and running betweene, not passable 
through but by bridges, lying out in length as it were in one direct 
broad street, and the same having a bridge over it/' 

Blackpool and Old Cork were detached villages on the northern 
and southern sides of the river, and liad little intercourse with the 
city except as receptacles for the produce of the country, which con- 
sisted chiefly of provisions, brought into the city on market days under 
a military escort. 

It was not until the year 1670, about which time the south channel 
of the river was rendered navigable, that any improvements were 
made. Some of the eastern marshes, on which the best part of Cork 
now stands, were then drained, and a bowling-green and gardens with 
temporary buildings formed on the reclaimed ground ; but these 
works were trampled and destroyed during the siege in 1690, under 
the celebrated Duke (then the Earl) of Marlborough. Immediately 
after that event Cork rapidly extended; almost all the marshy islands 
adjacent to the one on which it stood, were recovered, and portions 
of the city are still known by the names of the individuals who first 
reclaimed them, as Hammond's marsh, Pike's marsh,' Dunscombe's 
marsh, &c. Stretching westward from the first of these marshes, a 
public walk called the Mardyke, consisting of an embankment 
nearly an Enghsh mile in length, was constructed across a swamp in 
1719, at the expense of Mr. Edward Webber, who built at its ter- 
mination a brick house, (whence it was vulgarly termed the Red 
House Walk,) and enclosed a tea garden adjoining, which was 
much frequented by the citizens during the summer. 

** the city viewed, 

Likest a watch it seemed, — the dyke a chain, 
A flaunting chain, — a trinket the dyke house.** 

Chap. X. CORK. 189 

Hammond's marsh also possessed public gardens, and a " large 
and pleasant bowling-green, planted on its margin with trees kept regu- 
larly cut,*' of which some still remain near the present Mansion House, 
and annexed to these gardens were Assembly rooms. The formation 
of such insular places of public resort and amusement seems to have 
been encouraged, and they were the first steps towards improvement. 

The east marsh, and that drained by Captain Dunscombe, were 
formed into the parish of St. Paul, and a church erected in 1723. 
Christ Church,* which had suffered severely during the siege, a bomb ' 
having fcillen through its roof, was rebuilt in 1720, and St. Anne's 
Shandon in 1722, the old church having been destroyed by the burn- 
ing of the suburbs, at the same time. The Cathedral also, on account 
of the injuries it had sustained in 1690, as well as its age, was taken 
down and rebuilt between the years 1725 and 35. St. Peter's Church 
was likewise rebuilt in 1782, and scarcely one of the present ecclesi- 
astic or civic buildings of Cork were in existence at the commence- 
ment of the last century. 

•f-The old castles and gates that terminated the main street having 
become ruinous, were replaced by prisons ; the north gate built in 
X715, for a City Gaol, and the south gate, in 1728, for a County Gaol, 
the latter of which has been recently removed, as will be the former, 
on the completion of a more extensive and eligible structure, now 
building for the purpose, a short distance from the city. These gaols 
were ill contrived masses, without even the recommendation of supe- 
rior security, and their removal is attended with advantage to 

* This church leans considerably^ the foundation of one side of its tower having sunk 
some feet, but it is said to be perfectly secure ; '' all on one side like Christ Church/' is 
a common civic proverb, applied to any violent leader of a party. 

t Close to the north gate was Skiddy's Castle, so called after a family of that name, and 
long used as a magazine for powder ; but the chief reason of my pointing it out, is the cir- 
cumstance of Catherine Parr, great-grand daughter of the famous old Thomas Parr, 
having died in an Almshouse adjoining, at the advanced age of 103 years, in October, 179^. 

190 CORK. Chap. X. 

the main street already mentioned, which is populous and con- 

The canals intersecting Cork were gradually arched over, and the 
many little marshy islands thus consolidated in one. The channel 
running through the middle of the present Henry Street was arched 
in 1774*, and four years after, that between Hammond's quay and 
the west side of the city walls was converted into a street, named 
after the distinguished patriot Grattan. 

Between Tuckey's Quay and the Mall, the present Grand Parade 
was formed in 1780, and the union of the Long Quay with Colville's 
Quay became Patrick Street in 1783, about the same time the 
Potatoe Quay Dock, between the present Corn-Market and Bride- 
well, was covered in ; Nile Street was formed in 1795 ; 

' once called 

Fenn's Quay, but now being arched 'tis 'clep'd a street ;'* 

and subsequently the South Mall, the best street in Cork, and Nel- 
son's Place, were created in the same mannen 

The description given of Cork by Lord Orrery in a letter to Dean 
Swift, dated 1736, does not say much for the attractions of the place 
or the people ; but it appears rather to proceed from a splenetic 
mood than impartial observation. " The butchers are as greasy,'' 
writes his lordship, ^^ the quakers as formal; and the presbyterians 
as holy and full of the Lord as ever ; all things are in statu quo ; 
even the hogs and pigs grunt in the same cadence as of yore ; un- 
furnished with variety, and drooping under the natural dulness of the 
place, materials for a letter are as hard to be found, as money, sense, 
honesty, or truth \" A curious little book printed in Cork the foU 
lowing year (1737), and entitled, " Remarks upon the Religion, Trade, 
Government, Police, Manners, and Maladies of the City of Corke,'* 
would probably afford an amusing picture of its state. I have never 
met with a copy of this work, but it has been described to me by a 

Chap. X. COEK. 191 

dealer in old books, who recently sold one, as an ** agreeable, witty, 
and entertaining tract,'* and I presume was written by Dr, Rogers, 
who is quoted by Smith and other authors. In glancing at civic 
manners and amusements, the stage will naturally be the first point 
adverted to. The present theatre in Georges Street was built by 
Spranger Barry, and opened in 1760, with an excellent company of 
performers, when the works of the best dramatic authors were repre- 
sented ; but the patronage not supporting the expenses of the un- 
dertaking, the management soon passed into other hands, and a thea- 
trical monopoly, or contract by a Dublin patentee, has been fatal to 
the drama in Cork. This theatre (now the only one) is literally in a 
state of ruin, where, for a few weeks in the course of every summer, 
some stock plays are listlessly performed by an inferior corps drama- 
tique ; and once in every three or four years the most popular London 
actor appears, engaged at an enormous salary, but unsupported by 
even mediocre talent. 

A few years after the present Cork theatre was opened, the most 
singular exhibition took place on its stage, perhaps to be found in 
theatrical records. 

One of the performers named Glover had attended in the morning 
the execution of Patrick Redmond, a man who was sentenced to be 
hanged for robbery. After hanging a short time, the body was cut 
down and delivered to his friends, when Glover, having some know- 
ledge of surgery, and believing the vital spark not to be extinct, recom- 
mended the usual methods for recaUing animation, which were 
applied, and proving effectual Redmond speedily recovered. That 
very evening, inspired by gratitude as well as whiskey, he went 
tQ the play-house, and on Glover's appearance, jumped upon the . 
stage and returned thanks to his preserver, to the no small terror and 
astonishment of the audience. 

Derrick, who always gives his opinion as a person of ton, in one of 
his letters to Lord Cork, mentions having visited Barry^s theatre. 

192 CORK. Chap. X. 

during the first season of the performances in it, and speaks of the 
scenery as finely painted, and the band of music beyond any thing 
that could be expected. The same writer describes a public assem- 
bly held every fortnight " in a large room with white walls, badly 
lighted, and not encumbered with ornament,^' frequented by " very 
handsome females, dressed in the pink of the mode,^' and compli- 
ments Cork, on having seen more pretty women in it, than in any 
other town. 

Besides these assemblies, there were weekly meetings termed Drums, 
which are said to have been extremely social and agreeable, the 
admission was trifling, the company danced, played cards, talked or 
promenaded without restraint, and the attendance was generally 
numerous and respectable. These Drums were much resorted to by 
the military, and the hospitality of the citizens towards the officers 
in the garrison, (whom they ever seemed to consider as their guests,) 
created the most cordial feeling between both, which only once expe- 
rienced a slight interruption. This was in 1762, when severe and 
unpleasant bickerings arose between Colonel Molesworth, the Lieu- 
tenant Govenor of Cork, and Mr. Franklyn the Mayor of the city, in 
support of the civic power, who obliged the commanding officer to 
cause a serjeant and twelve men to mount guard daily at his house 
in Cove Lane, during the last three months he remained in office; 
but with his successor an entire reconciliation between the military 
and civil authorities ensued. Concerts and meetings of musical 
soci/sties were frequent in Cork, and the recollection still survives 
of the excellence attained by several of the amateur, as well as 
professional members. Amongst the latter, the name of De la Main> 
many years organist at the Cathedral, ought to be more generally 
known from the merit of his compositions, particularly of his church 
music, and it is a reproach to Cork, that no effi3rt has been made to 
collect and publish his works; inaccurate copies of some of which 
^re to be found in print 

C^p. X; CORK. 193 

. The unpopular Mr. Twiss, in his Irish Tour, sneers at the florid 
account given by Dr. Smith of the extent and excellence of musical 
taste in Cork, which it must be acknowledged is somewhat bombastic ; 
but Mr. Twiss's irony may have proceeded from another cause, as 
his reception at Cork did not equal his expectations. Few travellers 
came with more letters of recommendation to Ireland ; amongst others 
he brought one to Mr. Comerford, and was in consequente invited 
to spend a day at his house. Meeting Mr. Comerford some days 
after, in a public room, he expressed his surprise in an indelicate 
manner, (intended as a reflection on the hospitality of his entertainer,) . 
that he had never been invited a second time, by one of the many to 
whom he had brought introductions. — " Sir,'* repHed Mr. Comerford, 
V since you wish to know the cause, I will explain it. When a gen- 
tleman brings a letter of introduction, he is invited as a matter of 
course, in compliment to the writer, but if he is asked a second/time, 
it must be on account of his own merit.*' 

The alarming character of the events of the years 1797 and 98 
abruptly terminated the pubUc and private amusements of Cork> and 
imperatively called on all classes to take up arms in defence of their 
lives and property. The arrival of a French Fleet in Bantry Bay 
naturally produced a panic in a city not forty miles distant from 
the scene of invasion, and during the emergencies of that period, 
the loyalty and zeal of the inhabitants of Cork were particularly 
noticed and approved by the English government. The merchants 
of the place, at their private expense, kept twenty horses ready 
for the conveyance of information to the proper authorities ; refreshed 
such troops as passed through the city ; and humanejy made an 
allowance to the wife and children of every soldier who had marched 
^gainst the invading enemy. In. 1798, rehgious and party feeling 
was excited to the extreme, and ran so high as to create distinctions^ 
the existence of which are not forgotten to the present hour, that 

• • . ■ c'c- 

I94k CORK. Cha». X. 

have checked friendly intercourse and cordiality of sentimeDty and 
destroyed the source of much innocent rajoyment. 

Cork first became noted in EngUsh history from its connection 
with the fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, who, under the title of Richard 
IV., endeavoured to depose Henry VII. from his throne. Warbeck 
personated Richard, Duke of York, the second son of Edward IV., 
supposed to have been murdered in the Tower with his brother 
Edward V., and although the imposture is now generally admitted, 
many have expressed their belief of his identity, and some curious 
arguments have been produced in favour of this opinion. 

According to Warbeck's confession, or the one made for him on 
the eve of his execution, he was a Fleming by birth, and in 1492, 
having landed in Ireland with an adventurer named Pregant Meno, 
was hailed at Cork as heir to the crown, by John Walters, an opulent 
trader, afterwards mayor of the city, and Stephen Poytou, a die- 
afFected Englishman, who caused him to be instructed in the English 
language, and promised to assist him in the recovery of his assumed 
dignity. Having endeavoured to engage the Irish chieftains, parti- 
cularly the Earls of Desmond and Kildare, in his cause, (noblemen 
seldom unwilling to enter into any scheme opposed to the reigning, 
king of England,) Perkin left Ireland for France, from whence, on 
the declaration of peace between that country and England, he passed 
into Flanders, and three years after, with a small body of followers, 
made a futile descent on the Kentish coast. After this defeat, Perkin 
retreated to Cork, where he remained some months, but finding his 
Irish friends unable to render him any effectual assistance, proceeded 
to Scotland, with a view to excite an invasion of England in his 

Although Warbeck was kindly received by the Scottish monarchy 
who is said to have been instrumental in his marriage with a daughter 
of the Earl of Huntley, the conclusion of peace between England 
and Scotland obliged him with his young wife to fly from the 

Cha».X. cork. 195 

northern court, and he once more returned to Cork, where, chiefly 
through the Earl of Desmond's influence, having raised a few soldiers 
and procured vessels to transport them to England, Warbeck rashly 
appeared with his small troop before Exeter, and laid siege to that 
dty ; this last effort was as ineffectual as his former expedition, for 
the Bang's army obliged him to raise the siege. Exhausted by dis- 
appointments, and seeing no hope of success, he surrendered himself, 
and was conducted a prisoner to the Tower of London. Walters, 
the Mayor of Cork, with his son, who was Dean of Limerick, were 
arrested as traitors, and being transmitted to England, were tried at 
Westminster with Warbeck, in November, 1499- Walters the elder 
and Warbeck being found guilty were executed, and their heads 
spiked on London Bridge. 

In consequence of the conduct of the chief magistrate, and from 
having so repeatedly afforded a refuge to the rebellious Warbeck, 
Cork was deprived of its charter; but the displeasure of Henry was 
transitory, for in August, 1500, a new charter was granted with 
increased privileges, and a promise of the King's forgiveness. 

Camden, about the close of the sixteenth century, describes Cork 
as " a pretty town of merchandize, well peopled and much resorted 
to, but so beset on every side with rebels neighbouring upon it, that 
they are faine to keepe alwaies a set watch and ward, as if they had 
continual siege laid unto the city, and dare not marrie their daughters 
forth into the country, but make marriages one with another among 
themselves, whereby all the citizens are linked together, in some de- 
gree of kindred and affinity.^' Coppinger, Galway, Gold or Gbuldj 
Murrogh or Morrogh, Skiddy, Roche and Terry, were the principal 
families in Cork, and though all of the catholic persuasion continued 
loyal to the government of Elizabeth. This feeling was evinced by 
their conduct in 1570. A report, or rather a prophecy, having been 
generally circulated, that that year should be the last of the queen's 
reigd, and the prediction proving false, the citizens testified their joy 

c c 2 1 

196 cork; cbap. X. 

by ringing bells, lighting bonfires, and tilting; said to be the first 
public rejoicings in Cork. 

On the death of Elizabeth in 1603, the inhabitants, like those of 
many English cities, were not reconciled to the accession of James 
the First, being averse to the government of a Scottish king. Al- 
though several Protestants, and some of English birth, opposed the 
authority of James, the Catholics were by far the most violent and 
numerous, and the afiair assumed a character of reUgious distinction. 
Sarsfield, the mayor, in answer to the commands of Sir George 
Thornton, directing the proclamation of the king, stated, that their 
charter gave the citizens a right to consider if such a proceeding were 
adviseable, and, to a mild remonstrance on his conduct, insolently 
replied, that Perkin Warbeck had been proclaimed King of England 
in the city of Cork, and the consequences of that step were warfare 
and disaffection. A formidable party, headed by Mead, the Re- 
corder, broke into open rebellion and committed many outrages; 
disarmed all the EngUsh and Protestants who would not join them ; 
burned the bibles and common prayer books; and, during these 
riotous proceedings, several harmless persons were put to death. On 
the arrival of the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, the insurgents were di- 
vided amongst themselves. The Meads, Golds, and Murroghs, who 
were the popular leaders, advised the defence of the city against, the 
Lord Deputy ; but the aldermen, Terry, John and Walter Coppinger, 
with the families of Galway, Verdon, and Martel dissented, and on 
the 11th of May, 1603, Cork was formally surrendered to Lord 
Mountjoy, who entered it at the head of a large body of troops- 

A variety of causes were urged in excuse of this civic revolt, of 
which the most plausible were, the oppressive conduct of the mili- 
tary, and the injury of property sustained by being obliged to receive 
the base money issued by Queen Elizabeth the preceding year. 

Mercy was extended by the Lord Deputy to all concerned in these 
transactions, except the ringleaders. Lieutenant Murrough, aiid two 
others, were executed by martial law; and the Recorder (Mead) was 

Chap.X. coek. 197 

tried, but acquitted, and died at Naples a pensioner of the King of 
Spain. Mead was the author of a tract, entitled, " An Advice to 
the Catholics of Munster, grounded on the Act of. Parliament anno 
2 Eliz." " a copy of which," says Smith, " is preserved at Oxford 
among the MSS. given to the Bodleyan Library by Archbishop 

In l605 the city of Cork, with its liberties, were separated from 
the county of Cork, and made a distinct jurisdiction ; but its im- 
provement was retarded by two severe fires, in l6l2 and 1622, 
which destroyed the greater part of the city. During the confusion 
of politics and parties in the struggle between Charles the First and 
his subjects, the citizens of Cork remained firm to the royal cause, 
and even after the situation of that monarch's affairs had become 
desperate^ continued to oppose the parliament. Such conduct may 
possibly be ascribed to the example of Sir William St. Leger, Lord 
President of Munster, whose unshaken attachment to Charles has 
consecrated his memory as a faithful servant and an honest man. 

The resistance of Cork, however, before Oliver Cromwell was, like 
that of most other places in Ireland, nominal. Oliver was a so- 
journer of a few days within its walls, during which time he directed 
the church bells to be taken down and converted into battering 
cannon, and is said to have answered a remonstrance on the subject 
with the facetious remark, " that since gunpowder was invented by 
a Priest 9 he thought the best use for bells would be to promote them 
into Cannons.*' Charles the Second was proclaimed in Cork by 
Prince Rupert in 1649 ; but the inhabitants, awed by the parliamen- 
tary fleet commanded by Admiral Blake, then off the harbour, and 
being under a military government established by Cromwell, re- 
mained passive, until, instigated by Lord Broghill, they openly 
declared for the parliament. 

On the cessation of hostilities in 1655, the civil government of 
Cork was re-established. Protestant magistrates were chosen,^ and 
some severe enactments, made against the Roman Catholic inhabi- 
tants, who were for a time expelled the city. 

198 COEK. Chap. X. 

About this period the sect called Quakers appeared in Cork^ and 
there one of its most eminent members first became a convert to 
those opinions, which he afterwards carried into legislative effect — ^I 
speak of the illustrious William Penn. Curiosity induced him to 
visit a religious meeting where the doctrines of Quakerism were ex- 
plained by Thomas Lowe, who expatiated with so much force on the 
text — " There is a faith that overcomes the world, and there is a 
faith that is overcome by the world" — ^as to make a proselyte of 
Penn, who constantly afterwards attended their meetings, and as- 
sumed the garb of the society. Colonel Phaire, the Governor of 
Cork, and several of the Republican soldiers in the garrison, also 
became converts to the same tenets. 

On the 3d of September, 1667 j Penn, being at a meeting in that 
city, was apprehended, with many others, and carried before the 
Mayor, who, observing his dress was less primitive than that of liis 
companions, or perhaps recollecting that his father. Sir Wm. Penn, 
was a man of considerable power and influence both in the county 
and in England, would have set him at hberty upon giving bond for 
his future good behaviour, which Penn refused to do, and was com- 
mitted with eighteen others to the common prison. Immediately on 
his commitment he wrote a manly letter to Lord Orrery, President 
of Munster, then at CH^eville, who ordered his discharge, but suf- 
fered his fellow prisoners to remain until released in the due course 
of law. 

Amongst the early religious associates of Penn was John Exham, 
distinguished by the name of the Quaker Prophet, an eccentric 
fanatic, originally a soldier under Cromwell, but who, on the ap- 
pearance of Quakerism, took a leading part in the dissemination of 
its pacific doctrines. His enthusiasm was so great, about the time 
of Penn's imprisonment, that he walked through the streets, his head 
covered with sackcloth and ashes, preaching repentance and amend- 
ment of life, for which he suffered a long and severe imprisonment ; 
but undismayed by such usage, he took a second exercise of the 
same kind in Cork, during the year 1698, being then above seventy* 

Chap.X. cork, 199' 

At the time o£ his death he was upwards of ninety years of age, and 
persevered m the same conduct to the last* 

The restless and enterprising Broghill, dissatisfied with the con<- 
duct of Cromwell, probably conceiving that his services were not 
aufficiently rewarded, became the strenuous partizan of royalty, and 
secretly excited the south of Ireland in favour of the Restoration of 
Charles the Second. Lord Shannon was sent to wait on the exiled 
King at Brussels, with a minute despatch of eight lines neatly quilted 
in the collar of his doublet, written by his brother, Broghill, inform- 
ing his Majesty that 5000 Protestant subjects, and tried men, were 
assembled in and near Cork, ready to assist him in the recovery of 
his crown* The declaration of General Monk in England, to the 
same effect, is said to have prevented Charles from going into Ire- 
land, where Sir Charles Coote had formed a numesous party in the 
north, on whose coalition with Lord Broghill their design was 
openly avowed, and Charles the Second was again proclaimed King 
at Cork, the 18th of May, 1660, eleven days before his restoration in . 

The trade of Cork and its commercial importance rapidly increased 
after the accession of Charles, until Ireland became involved in the 
contest between James 11. and his son-in-law. The greater part of 
the inhabitants being Roman Catholics, supported the cause of James, 
and Cork was garrisoned by Irish ti'oops in favour of that monarch. 
As the question at issue was one of a reUgious as well as political 
nature, the adherents of James disarmed and confined such^ of the 
citizens as were Protestants, to prevent their joining the fi^rces of 
William, and the arrival of James at Cork, who in person was. 
obliged to countenance these and other, unconstitutional proceedings, 
rendered that place the scene of religious intolerance and persecu* 

Notwithstanding the victory of the Boyne, Cork still held out for 
the abdicated monarch, and William &und it necessary to reduces 

200 CORK. Chap.X. 

it to obedience. This undertaking was committed to the Duke 
of Marlborough; he arrived in Cork Harbour on the 22d Sep- 
tember, 1690, and was received at the entrance \vith a few shots, 
and a show of resistance from a fort which was abandoned on the 
landing of a small party, who possessed themselves of the guns. 
The following day was spent in disembarking the troops, and on the 
24th, the ordnance were drawn towards the city by the seamen and 
marines, led on by the young Duke of Grafton. Two troops of 
dragoons and a small body of infantry, posted a short distance out 
of Cork, immediately retreated within the walls when fired at, and 
the cannon were scarcely planted on Fair Hill to the north of the 
city, when the suburbs at that side were in a blaze, and two small- 
forts with Shandon Castle evacuated. 

On the 26th, Prince Wirtemburgh arrived at the head of 4000 
Danes, and took up a position in the north of the town. General 
Scravinmore, who commanded the cavalry, gained the elevated 
ground of Gill Abbey at the south side ; and, seizing the Cathedral, 
which commanded the old fort or citadel, posted two files of 
musketeers, under Lieutenant Horace Townsend, in its tower, whose 
fire became so galling to the fort that two guns were pointed against 
the church and shook its steeple considerably. Some of the men 
attempting to descend, Lieut. Townsend struck away the ladder by 
which they had mounted, thus cutting off the means of retreat, and 
continued with his men in the steeple until the next day, when the 
fort surrendered. 

This instance of bravery is surpassed by the almost miraculous 
achievement of two sailors, in the capture of a strong redoubt on the 
south side, of Cork, called "the Catt,'' the fire from which, and a 
battery not far distant in the same line, formed at the Red Abbey, 
effected a breach in the city walls. — A truce was granted for the 
night, but the offered conditions being declined, on the following 
morning, the 28th, a heavy fire continued to play upon the town. 

Chap. X. CORK. 201 

At noon a body of the Danes crossed the northern branch of the 
river, and four regiments of Enghsh under Brigadier Churchill, at 
the south side, waded to the East Marsh up to their chins in water, 
but both the detachments were retarded by the swampiness of the 
ground, and prevented storming the breach by a deep channel that 
passed down the centre of the present Grand Parade, and served as 
a counterscarp to the city wall. During the delay caused by these 
obstructions, the Duke of Grafton (natural son of Charles II.) was 
mortally wounded by a musket shot from the walls ; the ball entered 
at the point of his shoulder, and he died in a few hours after; the 
place where this nobleman fell is now distinguished by the name of 
Grafton's Alley, a narrow passage leading from the South Mall into 
George's Street. 

Two vessels were also moored off the city, and threw bombs into 
it. " In the midst of which puther,'' to use the expression of Story, 
Lord Tyrone . beat a parley, and surrendered at mercy. The 
garrison consisted of 4,500 men, and amongst the prisoners of note 
were the Earls of Clancarty and Tyrone, and many Irish chieftains. 
About 1,500 of the prisoners were embarked for England, 200 of 
whom perished in the Breda man of war, which was blown up in 
Cork harbour, an event that, for the honour of human nature, it is to 
be hoped has falsely been attributed to the treachery of Colonel 
Barrett — ^he and his servant only escaping. 

Although Ireland generally remained inactive in the cause of the 
Stuarts, some exertions in their favour appear to have been made 
at Cork. 

In 1722, Captain Henry Ward and three others were hanged 
there for raising men for the service of the Pretender, and William 
Roe was pilloried for repeating the seditious sentence, ** May King 
James III. enjoy his own again V* The pillory was again the award 
of treasonable expressions in 1746. The Cork post-boy, who to the 
inquiry — "What news?'' replied, " Good news, the Pretender is 

D D 

202 CORK. Chap. X. 

crowned in Scotland f and a man named Coughlan, accused of 
toasting the health of Lord Clare, then an officer in the French 
service, suffered that punishment, and during the ten following 
years four or five men were executed for enlisting soldiers for the 
French King; but with these individual exceptions Cork appears to 
have been well affected towards the Hanoverian succession. 

The ancient trade of Cork was very limited, and entirely confined 
to England and the ports in the Bay of Biscay — the principal im- 
port was wine from France and Spain, and in return it exported 
staves, hides, fish, skins, and wool. All the trafiSc was carried on in 
foreign bottoms ; for Cork, in the reign of Elizabeth, only possessed 
a few fishing barks, nor were there warehouses established for the 
reception of merchandize, and every trader therefore brought his 
goods at his own risk and disposed of them in the best manner he 
could from on board his vessel. 

Foreign vessels were received in a canal which flowed nearly where 
the present Castle Street stands, and were enclosed, by means of a 
portcullis, between the Queen's Castle and the King's Castle, on 
the site of which are built the present Corn Market and Exchange. 
Descriptive of this locality the city arms is a ship between two 
castles, with the motto, " Statio bene fida carinis." 

In the year 1634, at a period when the trade began to increase, 
only nine small vessels arrived with wine from Bourdeaux and St. 
Maloes, which together did not import more than 100 tons, out of 
which 10 tons were paid in duty. The preceding year a specula- 
tion of exporting some corn and butter to Spain was attended with 
so much success, as to induce the traders to barrel up their beef and 
butter, in imitation of the English manner, and brand it with the 
Bristol mark, B. C. which found good maj'kets, and proved highly 
advantageous to the shippers ; but the political events of 1641 were 
inimical to commercial prosperity, and the subsequent transactions 
destroyed every vestige of industry. 

Chap. X. CORK. ,203 

On the restoration of tranquillity under William III. Cork soon 
recovered from the effects of domestic warfare. The trade with the 
American and West Indian colonies created a demand for pro- 
visions highly beneficial to the place, and contracts were formed for 
supplies both with the merchant service and the government, which 
afforded employment to a vast number of persons and circulated 
large sums of money in the country. Although the most eminent 
contractors suspended payment more than once, and produced 
serious temporary embarrassments, yet such was the spirit of enter- 
prise, that after each stoppage, business seemed to be carried on 
with renewed energy. The third failure of Mr. Paul Benson (whose 
crest was a rainbow) occasioned, a satirical epigram by Dr. De la 
Cour, which is perhaps worth repeating, as it is not to be found in 
any printed edition of his poems. 

'' How like thy crest was once thy power. 
Thou shone the rainbow of the hour. 
What Christ to Paul said — ^Cork may say to thee, 
Paulj Paul, why persecutest thou me V* 

Considerable fortunes, however, have been amassed during the 
late war by some speculative individuals, with much credit to them- 
selves and advantage to the place. The convenience of Cork harbour 
in time of war rendered it the rendezvous where all vessels trading 
with the new world assembled for convoy, and the victualling of such 
fleets alone created an extensive consumption for its staple commodi- 
ties—few cities therefore felt the transition to peace more severely, 
being without manufactures, and solely dependent on trade for the 
support of its inhabitants. 

The failure of several banking and commercial houses produced a 
depression of credit, and checked the means by which Cork had 
attained its commercial eminence. Vacant stores and untenanted 
houses are melancholy proofs of the declension of its prosperity ; 

D d2 

204 COIIK. Chap, X, 

and to those who remember what that city was previous to 1815, its 
present appearance is extremely cheerless — ^this gloomy effect, it is to 
be hoped, may prove of a temporary nature, and confidence and 
prosperity be again restored without the renewal of hostilities. 

In estimating the present rank which Cork is entitled to hold 
from other causes than its commercial celebrity, the names of 
Barry, Butts, and Grogan* are marshalled in conjunction with re- 
ference to the Fine Arts- What local credit these names reflect, I 
have never been able to discover. It is true that city was the 
birth-place of the two former, and the residence of the latter, where 
he lingered through a laborious professional existence without pa* 
tronage or encouragement. Barry, it will be recollected, left Cork 
when a boy, and never returned to it. His genius developed itself in 
Italy, assisted by directions from Edmund Burke, the works of the 
old masters having roused his expansive but uncouth^ mind into a 
ferocious rivalship ; and his surly reply, when reminded of his birth- 
place, was — " Cork gave me breath, 'tis true, but it never would have 
given me bread/' Jonathan Butts, less known than Barry, painted 
compositions of landscape and ruins, something in the manner of 
Claude, with a rich and flowing pencil, and, emigrating to Dublin 

* It would be unpardonable to omit mentioning James Cavanab Murphy, the Author 
of many elaborate works on Spanish Architecture and Antiquity ; particularly — Accounts 
of the Alhambra and Batalha, and that costly publication, the Arabian Andquities of Spain. 

Mr. Murphy was originally a bricklayer in Cork, where his talents for drawing at* 
tracted notice and procured some patronage, which enabled him to visit the British metro* 
polis, from whence he proceeded to Portugal in the capacity of an architect. Whilst 
abroad be acquired a profound knowledge of the Portugueze and Spanish languages, and 
held for a short time a diplomatic situation of importance. During a residence of many 
years in Spain he pursued his professional studies with the most devoted and persevering 
attention; but although his publications are numerous and of a laborious nature, it is only 
by inspecting the accumulation of notes and drawings which he has left behind him that 
an adequate idea can be formed of his industry, and of the minute and careful manner in 
which the particulars of every object are detailed. 

Mr. Murphy died in London about the year 1814. 

Chap.X. cork. 205 

as a scene-painter to the theatre, earned for many years an itinerant 
subsistence. It is, therefore,, an injudicious and idle boast to revert 
to the past 

• The exertions of some amateurs produced, in 1815, a small exhi- 
bition of their own works, jointly with those of the few resident 
artists, which, perhaps, on account of its novelty, was well attended, 
and led to the formation of a society, for the promotion of the 
fine arts. Circumstances having placed the management in un- 
qualified and indolent hands, exhibitions were, for two or three 
seasons produced, so worthless as rather to ofiend than attract the 
public. A small subscription had been raised towards its support, 
sufficient to keep it in existence ; but the society has gradually sunk 
into insignificance, notwithstanding some laudable exertions in its 
behalf by Lord Listowell, who was chiefly instrumental in obtaining 
from the King the presentation of a good collection of plaster casts. 

The state of literature in Cork is certainly more promising than 
that of the arts ; and there is, if not a profound spirit of research, at 
least a general love of reading. The Cork Library, the earUest 
literary institution, founded in 1790, is a truly valuable and well- 
regulated estabhshment. It is supported by the small annual sub- 
scription of one guinea from each member, and the collection of 
books on subjects of popular interest is extensive and admirably 

The Institution derives its chief support from an annual parlia- 
mentary grant, and was founded by charter in 1807. From the 
individual exertions of the Rev. Mr. Hincks it may be said to have 
emanated, and that it has conferred important benefits on the south 
of Ireland is evident; but at present, like many other chartered 
bodies, a lethargic, or rather an illiberal party-spirit seems to have 
benumbed the inclination to be of public service. 

Three or four professors are attached to the Institution, each of 
whom delivers an annual course of lectures on various branches of 

206 CORK. Chap.X. 

natural history, chemistry, and agriculture, which being fashionable 
are numerously attended by the ladies. Its library also contains an 
excellent collection of scientific works ; and the Museum (the only 
one in the city) possesses some minerals, and efforts have been made 
towards a geological arrangement of the specimens. In other 
branches of natural history the Museum is extremely defective, 
and its antiquities undeserving any notice. Seve^ literary and 
scientific societies have recently sprung up in Cork, which have been 
spiritedly supported by young men whose abilities promise to excite 
a revolution favourable to the advancement of literature. 



Within a long recess there ties a bay. 
An island shades it from the rolling sea^ 
And forms a Port secure for ships to ride. 
Broke by the jutting land on either side. 
In doable streams the briny waters gtide 
Between two rows of rocks. A sylvan scene 
Appears above, and groves for ever green." 

Drydens VtrgU. 

Cork Harbour is considered one of the best and most frequented 
ports in Ireland ; its mouth is narrow, probably not more than 
half a mile irom side to side, and is commanded by two forts named 
Camden and Carlisle, passing which the view opens on a magnificent 
expanse of water resembling a bay. 

* Spike Island, on which extensive and regular works have lately 
been erected, is considered its principal defence ; and lies between 

* The building of the fortifications on Spike Island was commenced in 1791 > under the 
superintendence of General Valla^cey, who, although an Englishman, has identified his 
name with the literature of Ireland* 

208 CORK HARBOUR. Chap. XI. 

the entrance and the town of Cove, seated on an island anciently 
called Barrymore, but now the Great Island, which extends four 
miles in length, and forms the north shore of the harbour. Cove is 
built on a hill, and the houses rising one above another produce an 
imposing appearance ; the effect in gliding past it towards Cork is 
prepossessing, but a closer examination does not justify any agree- 
able expectations, and a distant view will be found the most satis- 
factory. Derrick, in one of his letters, written nearly seventy years 
since, mentions the same apparent cleanliness when seen from the 
water, adding, that it was true hypocrisy, for within the houses were 
very dirty. A church with a pretty spire has been lately built in the 
town, and this, with a good market-place and a fine quay, are great 
improvements to the place. 

The old parish church is named Clonmell and stands about a mile 
from Cove. Here Tobin, the dramatic writer whose comedy of the 
Honeymoon has long been a favourite on the British stage, lies 
buried ; having died in the harbour on his passage to the West 

From the hill above the town of Cove, the prospect on a clear 
and sunny day is extremely beautiful and animated. A sheet of 
water, whose extent appears capable of receiving the entire naval 
force of England, specked as it always is with some ships of war, and 
many merchant vessels at their moorings, is enlivened by the graceful 
movements of numerous pleasure-boats and hookers, and studded with 
islands of various forms and colour. Behind these to the south-west 
is seen the main-land of Ringaskiddy, and to the east lies Rostellan, 
the mansion of the Marquis of Thomond, with many other beautiful 

A small fort was built on Haulbowline Island, (now the dep6t of 
naval and ordnance stores, and situated north-west of Spike,) by 
order of the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, in I6OI, for the defence of the 
river, which, with a noble sweep between a point of the Great 

Chap, XI. cork HARBOUR. 20f) 

Island and Haulbowline, proceeds to Passage, five miles distant from 
Cork, a town where merchant vessels of burthen are obliged to unload, 
and from whence their cargoes are conveyed in smaller craft to the 
city. On this reach of the river lies the quiet village of Monkstown 
with its castle, built by the Archdeacon family in l638, and now con- 
verted into a barrack. A row of good houses upon the beach, are 
backed by a rich plantation, which stretches along the shore towards 
Ballybricken, the delightful residence of Mr. Connor, nearly opposite 

The Barony of Kerricurrichy forms the western side of the har- 
bour, and opposes its rocky southern coast to the sea. Its principal 
village is Carrigaline, which tradition states the first Earl of Cork in- 
tended should rival Cork in commerce, and had actually proceeded 
so far in his gigantic undertaking as to have marked out the ground- 
plan of an extensive city ; but the scheme, which originated in the 
comparative distance of their situations from the sea, ended with the 
life of its projector. 

The Carrigaline river is called Annabuoy or Avonbuoy, in 
English signifying the Yellow River, from the colour of its waters, to 
which the floods caused by heavy rains give a muddy yellow tinge. 
Although of a considerable breadth, it is easily forded in two or three 
places at low water, and is not navigable any great distance except 
by small boats, though within its mouth, which more resembles and is 
sometimes called a creek, there is good anchorage for vessels of con- 
siderable burthen ; and it is related that five ships of war under the 
command of Sir Francis Drake, being closely pursued by the Spanish 
fleet, ran up this river a short way to a part. named Tubberavoid 
(the well of safe anchorage), since called Drake's Pool, where the little 
squadron lay land-locked and completely concealed from their pur- 
suers, who, sailing into Cork Harbour without discovering their 
prey, gave up the chase. 

The Castle of Carrigaline is seated on an immense mass of limestone 

£ £ 

210 COEK HAEBOUB, Chap. XI. 

rock commanding the principal ford of this river about four miles 
from its mouth; its present appearance is nothing more than the 
ruined and ivy-covered walls of two inconsiderable buildings resem* 
bling the wings of an old house, which, I should suppose, were 
formerly united and inclosed by an embattled wall. There is nothing 
interesting, that I am aware of, connected with this Castle, although 
at one period, in the reign of Elizabeth, it must have been considered 
of importance, being termed ^' impregnable/' As it stands rather 
high, and the surrounding country is flat, it is visible in many situa- 
tions at the distance of two or three miles, and in some points of view 
assumes a picturesque character, which is lost on a nearer approach. 

The fishing village of Crosshaven lies at the mouth of the river, 
nearly facing the town of Cove, and sheltered by a large hill called 
Currabinnagh, that rises from the opposite shore, crested with a rude 

The most extensive demesne in this district is Coolmore, the resi- 
dence of Mr. Newenham, which contains above 500 acres. 

The Hodder and Daunt famities are the principal landed pro- 
prietors, and have several seats, the best of which are Hoddersfield 
and Ringabella, belonging to the former, and Gurtegreennan and 
Myrtleville to the latter : the ground, in general, is extremely barren 
and requires much labour and expense to cultivate. A farm not far 
from Hoddersfield was described to me by its proprietor as " the 
back bone of the world picked by the devil,'' on account of the in- 
veterate obduracy of the soil. The Carrigaline road to Monkstown 
leads through a romantic defile called Glenathauwk, or the Hawk's 
Glen, and the return to Passage is over a steep hill named the Giant's 
Stairs, derived from twelve or fourteen projecting rocks, rising one 
above the other Kke a flight of steps, with a rude and ponderous air 
of regularity resembling a Druidical work. 

The town of Passage, which possesses little to detain the visitor, is 


much frequented, in consequence of a ferry to the Great Island, as 
it is the only regular one established on the river. 

Douglas, a village mid-way between Passage and Cork, is sur- 
rounded by many fine seats, the largest of which is Maryborough, 
containing nearly 400 acres. These houses are generally judiciously 
placed as to prospect, but seldom possess much ground. " This will 
not be deemed extraordinary ,'' says Mr. Townsend in his Statistical 
History of Cork, " when it is considered that any thing of good 
demesne land in this quarter brings from eight to ten pounds per acre. 
A price so far exceeding the actual value of farm land arises for the 
great demand for villas amongst the opulent inhabitants of Cork.^' 

The hills on each side of the river aflFord so many inviting situations 
that they are now literally studded with villas encompassed by ten or . 
twenty acres each. 

On the road side between Passage and Douglas is Ronaynes Court, 
the residence of Alderman Evanson, an old mansion, and easily re- 
cognised as such by its lofty chimneys and numerous gable-ends. 
A large stone chimney-piece in one of the rooms bears the following 
inscription : 

9^orrf0 leioulan anH a^arffaret (EfoulU toflUfH tW Iiou0e in t^e nzavt of our ILorHf fit 
1627, anH in tfie tfifrU 

pme of minge j^ r-l jj Lobe(Bo6 j j| g ^ri^ 
CiarUjS I ^i anU nefffporiS I I 

Blackrock is amongst the most beautiful outlets of Cork. It is a 
little peninsula thickly covered with the houses and neat cottages of 
the gentry and traders. The Castle of Blackrock, about three 
EngUsh miles from Cork, was built in the early part of the reign of 
James I. by the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, for the defence of the 
river which washes its base ; it was a single circular tower, and in 
1722 the corporation added some buildings and placed an octagon 
room and cupola on it. Here the mayors held an Admiralty Court, 

E E 2 - 


being appointed by several charters Admirals of the Harbour, a right 
which they annually assert on the first of August, when the mayor 
and corporation sail to the entrance of the harbour, and perform the 
ceremony of throwing a dart into the sea, as a testimony of their 
jurisdiction. On the authority of the city council book. Dr. Smith 
mentions that, in 1627 9 the question of the Mayor of Cork being 
Admiral of the Harbour was contested with the corporation by 
Edward Champion, for the Lord Barry. 

Thirty years since, Blackrock contained only the cottages of a 
few revenue officers, and the huts of some fishers and boatmen. 
The only buildings with any claims to antiquity beside its Castle, 
being an ivy-mantled tower in Mr. Murphy's grounds, called Ring 
Mahon, and Dundanion Castle, about half a mile nearer Cork than 
that of Blackrock, which has the appearance of an old mansion, and is 
laid down on the plan of Cork given in the Pacata Hibemia as 
" Galwaies Castell,'' being probably a seat of that family. The 
neighbouring houses are modem, and many of them possess an 
air of neatness and comfort, nearly approaching those of the English 
merchants. Having the advantage of sea-bathing on the verge of their 
gardens, they are extremely pleasant and healthy, and hence the 
place has now become populous. Near Blackrock Castle is Castle 
Mahon, the residence of Lady Chatterton, beautifully placed, and 
which it would be ungrateful to pass without the acknowledgment of 
having spent many of my happiest hours there. 

Lakelands, the seat of Mr. Crawford,. and Beaumont, that of Mr. 
Beamish, are the most extensive demesnes at Blackrock. 

About half way between Cork and its Castle lies the village of 
Ballintemple, (in English, Church Town,) and adjacent to it is a little 
burial ground, from which it has probably originally been named. 
The situation of this cemetery is retired and romantic, and the few 
tombstones that rise above the large dock leaves and nettles with 
which it is overgrown, record the names of such villagers as have 


died in more opulent circumstances than their neighbours. The re* 
mains of the humble farmer and the poor fisherman occupy this 
secluded spot, with the exception of one grave, containing a pair 
whose melancholy fate and early death throw an interest over the 
simple tablet that marks their abode, and on which is inscribed, 

Lieut. Henby Richard Temple, 

Son op 

L1EUT.-C0L. RiCHABD Temple, 

Died August l6th 1799, 

Aged 28. 


The simplicity of this tomb, when contrasted with the uncouth and 
sometimes grotesque orthography of those which surround it, natu- 
rally excites a degree of curiosity, and a wish to become acquainted 
with some particulars respecting this youth. Residing very near 
this cemetery, it was my frequent custom to stroll amidst its hum- 
ble mounds, and to clear away the weeds from this tomb, 
in which occupation I was one evening accosted by an elderly 
woman, a resident of many years in the adjoining village, who, after 
looking at me very earnestly, exclaimed — " Ah ! I see your honour 
bears a respect to the young strangers' grave; arid I never pass it 
myself without a look and a sigh ; for I'll never forget the noble looking 
gentleman their father, standing where you do now. Sir, and gazing 
on the earth as though his heart would break. Twas he caused that 
stone to be placed at their head.'' On expressing a wish to hear 
more of their story, the old woman continued : " It may be about 
twenty years ago. Sir, that a West India ship arrived in our harbour, 
and a young man, who was an officer, came passenger in her ; he was 
in a bad state of health, and was closely attended by a sweet young 
lady, a Creole, who was his wife. A rough and tedious passage had 
increased his illness so much, that he determined to remain on shore 


whilst the ship waited in harbour for some repairs, which would 
enable her to proceed more safely to her destination. 

" As the ship lay some miles down the river, he was rowed up in 
one of her boats towards the city, that he might have medical advice 
and such attendance as he required, but being pleased with the ap- 
pearance of our village from the water, resolved on stopping here. 
He remained at Blackrock about a week ; his health, instead of im- 
proving, every day became worse and worse, and oh. Sir, it would be 
impossible to tell how tenderly the poor young lady nursed him, and 
how she watched by his bed-side day and night ; but it was all in 
vain ; he was so exhausted from the effects of the fever which he had 
in the West Indies, that he died on the eighth day after his landing. 

" The dear lady sunk under her affliction ; his loss, her destitute 
situation, alone and in a foreign land, added to the fatigue of her 
constant attendance on him, altogether so preyed on her that in two 
days she was a corpse by his side ; and the black servant, who had 
come over with them, seeing how things were, packed up every 
article, even their very clothes, and went off on board ship the same 

" The bodies of this poor young couple were put in two common 
deal coffins, and buried in one grave, and the expenses of their wake 
and funeral paid by a subscription made amongst the inhabitants. 
None of us could tell their name nor who were their fiiends, for the 
black servant had carried off every thing, (God forgive him !) and 
every paper belonging to them. The affair was talked of for a 
month or two afler, but the fate of these young people, like most 
other things, was forgotten in a short time. 

" It was two or three years after their death, that an elderly gen- 
tleman one morning knocked at my door, asking if this was not the 
village of BalUntemple. On my answering that it was, he inquired if 
I knew any thing respecting a young officer who had died here ; 


when I repeated just what I have told you, Sir. Poor gentleman ! 
he seemed deeply affected, and begged of me to point out to him 
the spot where his son lay. We walked towards the burial ground 
without exchanging one word, and when I showed him the grave, he 
stood for a long, long time, silently, and I think unconsciously, gazing 
upon it, for I came away without his perceiving me. I saw no more 
of this gentleman, nor have I siiyse heard any person even speak of 
him; but soon after his visit I observed the small stone, that had been 
put up, I suppose, by his orders.'' 

The deUcacy which had induced this untutored old woman to 
refrain from intrusion on the father's melancholy duty would have 
pleaded her excuse for the minuteness of her narrative, had not my 
age at that time rendered one unnecessary ; and should the reader 
require an apology for the relation, I can only refer him to the feel- 
ings of his boyish days. 

A large portion of the ground at Blackrock being held under a 
precarious ecclesiastical tenure, has no doubt prevented its improve- 
ment. The total want of places of worship for a district so nume- 
rously inhabited is very striking, there being neither church nor 
chapel, until within a few months, when, through the exertions of 
Doctor Murphy, the Titular Bishop of Cork, a Roman Catholic 
chapel was erected. , 

Adjoining the Blackrock road, in a field about a mile from Cork, 
amethysts have been found, but of an inferior quality to those pro- 
cured in foreign countries. The quarry was discovered more than 
twenty years since, and after being worked for a short time the ques- 
tion of proprietorship got into Chancery, where it still remains. 

Many tons of earth were thrown over the excavations which had 
been made, and a guard placed to prevent farther search ; but not- 
withstanding these precautions, I have seen some good crystals 
recently picked up there. 

It is the opinion of those more conversant than myself with geology. 

2l6 CORK HARBOUR. Chap. XI. 

that a few months further work would have completely exhausted 
this amethystine mine^ as from its situation it cannot be extensive. 

Many curious anecdotes are told relating to its first discovery, 
which of course created what may be temied a sensation in Cork, 
and induced some of the jewellers to speculate largely in the pur- 
chase of amethysts. One of these stories partakes so much of the 
spirit of waggery ever superabundant in Cork, that I cannot resist its 
insertion. A lump of sugar-candy was procured by two or three of 
those mortals who are fond of enjoying a laugh at the expense of 
others, and carefully bedaubed with clay, through which the delicate 
glistening points of its crystals projected. This, being placed in 
the hands of a boy well instructed in his part^ was ofiered for sale to 
a lapidary, who had, for some days previous, eagerly bought up every 
amethyst brought into his shop. " Some of them find purple stones,'^ 
said the boy, with an air of simplicity, " but here is a yellow stone, 
and lil not sell it under a guinea.^^ The bargain was soon struck, 
the money paid, and the lapidary, imagining he had obtained a fine 
topaz, and rejoicing in his good fortune, hastened to throw it into a 
basin of water to soften the clay which concealed its lustre. His 
astonishment and dismay were somewhat great on finding the gem 
dissolved, and the muddy water delicately sweetened ! — but all was 
not lost — ^he received an invitation that evening to a supper provided 
with his guinea, and on the entrance of a bowl of punch was asked 
if he did not usually sweeten it with " syrop of topaz.^^ Finding the 
laugh against him, he had no resource but to join in it with the best 
grace he could. 

The beauty of Cork Harbour renders it an exceedingly attractive 
excursion for strangers, and one no less agreeable than easy in its 
performance, as steam-vessels, for the accommodation of passengers, 
ply between Cork and Cove. 

Rising immediately from the northern shore of the river, below 
Cork, a richly wooded hill extends about three miles, studded with 


elegant mansions and villas ; and at the head of a romantic valley 
that interrupts its continuance, the village of Glenmire is situated, on 
a small river of the same name which flows through this picturesque 

The probable derivation of the name Glenmire appears to be from 
two Irish words signifying the Vale of Pleasantry, although Dr. 
O'Brien in his Irish Dictionary has drawn it from a less obvious 
source. The village of Riverstown, formerly called Ballyrosheen, 
or the Town of the Little Rose, joins that of Glenmire, and is prin- 
cipally inhabited by poor weavers and other manufacturers. 

A severe skirmish took place here, on the l6th January, 1716, 
occasioned by a mutiny amongst the gamson of Cork, who left 
their barracks and encamped on the north side of the city for a few 
days, whence they proceeded to Glenmire, where they took up a 
position. On being attacked by some troops with two field-pieces 
that had arrived in the harbour the same morning, the mutineers, 
headed by a Dutchman named Garvy, made a desperate stand near 
the bridge, and their supply of ball cartridge failing, they made use 
of their buttons as a substitute for bullets, but were obliged at last 
to give way, and retreated in disorder. Garvy was afterwards tried 
and shot, with two others of the ringleaders. Numerous relics of 
this action were ploughed up in 1807$ of which I remember having 
seen a rusty halberd and several grapeshot. 

Glenmire with its surrounding scenery afibrds many pleasing sub* 
jects for the pencil, which, although excellent studies, are without 
any important or peculiar feature. The old parish church, about a 
mile distant from the village, is called Rathcooney, or the Rabbit's 
Rath, probably from the number of raths or intrenchments to be 
seen in its neighbourhood. This church is in ruins and has been long 
disused for service, yet the little burial-ground attached to it con* 
tinues to be a favourite place of interment. 

The oldest date I could find amongst the tombs was 1680, on the 

F F 


Galway vault ; but the followiDg iDscription appeared worth tran-* 
scribing for the enigmatical account of a blind man, respecting whom 
I am unable to gain any further information. 


Erscti> by Jno Mc nsmara 
Silk 8c his brothers for 
a memori* of their burial 
placb. their parents are 


Cornels' M^ nemara Silk 
the most wonderful blind 
man, work»> at his trade 


sight thow perfect blind. 

God be mbrcifull to all 

their souls. 

A small volume, purporting to be a picturesque description of 
Glenmire, was published at Cork in 1814, by a singular personage 
named Alexander, and is perhaps the most extraordinary literary 
compound in existence. This person, who is since dead, held some 
inferior situation under the excise, which had been bestowed on him 
as a reward for his conduct as Town Major of New Ross in the 
rebellion of 1798. He had been, as he once told me, a soldier and 
a sailor, a methodist preacher and a player, an excise officer and the 
author of many excellent and moral works — ^had been in the four 
quarters of the globe, and was the esteemed and acknowledged 

cousin-german of Sir W. S , Bart, and Lord Mayor of the city 

of Dubhn. 

The Little Island or Lisle, so called in opposition to the Great 
Island or Barrymore, is situated below Glenmire, and forms, with 
the Great Island, the north-east shore of the Cork river. Behind 
these islands, which are separated from the main land by a shallow 
and scarcely navigable channel, lie Carrigtohill, an incoiisiderable 


village, and Middleton, a poor town of one street about a quarter of 
a mile in lengths Beyond these, on the eastern side of the harbour, 
is Castle Martyr, a neat and rather picturesque village, apparently 
thriving without manufactures ; every house and person in the place 
wore a cleanly and happy appearance, which may be justly ascribed 
to the residence of Lord Shannon, whose extensive pleasure grounds 
and gardens are objects of much local celebrity. 

On the I6th October, 1679, Lord Broghill (then Earl of Orrery), 
so frequently mentioned in this volume, died at Castle Martyr : I am 
induced to mention the circumstance from having procured acci- 
dentally some singular verses on his death, with other old papers, at 
a cottage in this neighbourhood. These verses were printed in 
London, for Rowland Reynolds, at the Middle Exchange in the 
Strand, 1680, and are entitled ^^ Minerva^s Check to the Author, for 
attempting to write an Elegy upon the Right HouQurable and much 
to be lamented Roger, first Earl of Orrery/' A few lines will pro- 
bably be quite sufficient to satisfy the reader's curiosity : 

" That news hath wings^ we every day do find« 
And ill doth ever leave the best behind ; 
Admire not then the death of Orrery, 
Renown'd all 's days, should in a moment flie 
Both far and near, the world to terrifie. 
At Cork, at Dublin, London, and at Paris 
Too soon 't arrives, and Rome, but there ne'er tarries. 
Tin at both Indies, or where e'er more far is. 

• • • • 

His care to breed brave horses thou wouldst write. 
In peace for pleasure, and in war for fight ; 
Thou fain wouldst talk on 's victory at Knockny Clarshy, 
And praise him (next to God) the God*armercy. 

• • • # 

His sacred Poems, now but in the press^ 
Will speak his noble praise in fairer dress." 

F f2 




A hardy race, inured to toil. 

Bat proud of heart, impadeut of offence, 

With.pasfions strong, and bold, and full of fire. 

Yet kind in speech, and to the stranger's call 

Their doors are never dosed.*' 


From the relative situation of the northern and eastern parts of Ire* 
land to Scotland and Wales, it is evident, even were history and 
tradition silent on the subject, that these districts became the first 
settlements of adventurers from the shores of Britain. The original 
inhabitants gradually retired, as the invaders, either by conquest or 
treaty, extended their dominion, which was distinguished by a line 
of demarcation called the Pale : and all who remained without the 
Pale were excluded from the protection of the English laws. The 
project of confining the native Irish within the province of Connaught, 
by the boundary of the Shannon, has been ascribed to Cromwell, 
and hence the phrase but too well remembered in Ireland — " To 
Hell, or Connaught with the rebel Y' 


The southern and western counties are, therefore, unquestionably 
those in which, at present, national peculiarities should be sought, 
and where primitive manners have been least affected by foreign 
innovation, although the intercourse between the south of Ireland 
&nd Spain appears to have been extensive from the earliest period 
to the close of the sixteenth century. Both the fanciful eye of the 
antiquary and the more sober one of the agricultural tourist have 
observed the Spanish contour of feature in the peasantry of Kerry, 
and, indeed, it is impossible not to be struck with the resemblance ; 
but the discussion of the colonization of remote ag^ does not fall 
within the object of this chapter, which is rather an attempt to detail 
such customs amongst the Irish peasantry as will appear roost striking 
to the English reader, and to illustrate them with any occasional 
anecdotes they may suggest. The difference of costume and per- 
sonal appearance in the lower orders of different districts can 
scarcely fail of being remarked, and the inhabitants of one barony 
are easily distinguished, by their peculiar dress, from those of another. 
On the border of the counties Cork and Limerick, the women are 
generally short and plump figures ; the men well-proportioned, tall 
and rather handsome. In some of the southern parts of Cork and 
Kerry the very reverse is the case ; and, in the latter county, the race 
of small and hardy mountaineers, with light hair, gray eyes and florid 
complexion, added to a circular form of countenance, are strangely 
contrasted with the tall, spare persons of the Spanish race, if I may 
so term them, with sallow visage, dark, sunken eye, and jet-black 
hair, falling loosely over their shoulders ; wearing the great-coat in 
the fashion of a mantle, fastened by one button under the chin, and 
its sleeves hanging down unoccupied by the arms. 

In the county Limerick, the men's dress is invariably of a gray (or 
pepper and salt colour) produced by a mixture of black and white 
wool without any process of dying. In the eastern parts of the 


county Cork, dark blue is the predominant colour ; whilst, in die 
western parts and in the county Kerry, light or powder blue is almost 
universally worn. The same peculiarity, but in a less degree, extends 
to female dress. In the eastern baronies of the county Cork and 
county Limerick, cloaks of the brightest red are seen. In the west 
of Cork and Kerry, dark blue and gray prevail. Previous to the 
rebellion of 1798, the former colour was more commonly worn than 
it has been since, and about that period red became generally disused. 
A contemptuous expression of the English soldiers at that time, after 
any contest, was ^^ now a woman seen at a distance in her scarlet 
cloak would strike a panic throughout the whole country.'' 

The cloak is a part of dress apparently never superfluous to an 
Irish woman, and is constantly used with the hood over the head, 
even during the hottest days of summer ; those who are not so fortu-- 
nate as to possess a cloak turn the skirt of their gown or an apron 
over their shoulders, and in this huddled style proceed about then: 
<iut-door occupations with as little alacrity as might be expected. 
A brown stuff gown and green petticoat is the popular costume, 
with stockings of the brightest blue, but these latter are by no 
means an indispensable part of dress, and, truth to say, are not 
often seen ; neither are shoes considered of any importance, but 
rather a fatiguing incumbrance, gladly dismissed when opportunity 
offers, and scarcely ever worn but on the Sabbath and other holi- 
days. Joumies are invariably performed barefooted, the shoes and 
stockings tied together and thrown across the arm. There is, how- 
ever, a strong desire to possess a pair of silver buckles or a silver 
clasp for the cloak, such ornaments being considered as marks of 
consequence, and they are handed down from mother to daughter 
with the greatest care. Bonnets are quite unknown, the hood of the 
cloak answering all demands for the head, which is, however, some- 
times adorned by a high cauled mob cap. The fodaheen, or littie 

Chap<XIL manners and customs^ 223 

bood, is also a favourite head-dress, more particularly with thosd 
advanced in life, and is formed by a handkerchief carefully folded 
round the head and tied in a knot under the chin. 

The custom of greeting with a benediction has been practised in 
Ireland from time immemorial. It is perhaps of eastern origin. 
(General Vallancey would certainly have derived it from thence.) 
Persons on a journey are saluted with various and peculiar phrases, 
appropriate to the time of day, the nature of the road they are pur- 
suing, or other circumstances. Early in the morning, or on the 
approach of night, you hear such as " God speed you,'* " God and 
the Blessed Virgin attend you,^' " The blessed Patrick go with you,^' 
&c.; but if the traveller has to apprehend danger on his route, the 
expressions are more energetic, as ** Safe home to you by the help 
of God,'' " God guide and protect you, and lead you in safety to 
your own home, with the blessing of all the Saints.'' 

The maledictions of the peasantry are very powerful, and embrace 
a climax of evils, gradually ascending to the most dreadful impreca- 
tions, from " May the grass grow upon the threshold of your dwell- 
ing," or " May you stand friendless and alone in this world." Their 
exclamations and apostrophes are singular and figurative, often 
poetical, and sometimes touching on the subUme. An Irish appeal 
is ever made to the feelings, not to the judgment, and the passions 
are assailed by a burst of thought that, 

'' Like unexpected lights surprises." 

An instance of the effect produced by one of these vigorous 
exclamations occurred in an affair at a place called Ballyhacket, 
where some men were attacked by a party of poUce, sent to deprive 
them of a farm of which they were keeping forcible and illegal pos- 
session. On their trial at Limerick, it appeared in evidence that 


the resistance was chiefly owing to the interference of a woman, who, 
perceiving the advance of the peace-oflicers and military, ran 
towards her husband and his brothers, '^ shouting out,'' said the 
witness — " Ballyhacket for ever, with the blue sky over it !*' Thus 
calling forcibly into their minds the gloomy contrast of imprison* 
ment, and sweeping, with a wild and rapid touch, the strings of 
freedom — that master-chord of an Irish heart ! 

There is something remarkable in the ideas of freedom and 
independence vaguely floating in the mind of an Irish peasant ; they 
seem only inferior to his pride, which exists in a degree wholly 
irreconcilable with his condition ; a thousand evils are the result 
^< I would, since your honour bids me, but that I scorn to demean 
myself,'' is a reply proof against any argument that reason or pro- 
priety can suggest — Bishop Berkeley has mentioned a kitchen 
wench in his family who refused to carry out cinders, because she 
was descended from the ancient kings of Ireland ; and it would be 
ludicrous, were it not melancholy, to observe the consequence derived 
from this " pride of ancestry," The usual language of condolence 
on a change of fortune is — " He, whose father was a real and un- 
doubted gentleman, and whose mother was born and bred a gentle- 
woman, aye, and her mother before her." Every person therefore 
in Ireland is a gentleman, or was a gentleman, or is related to a 
gentleman ;* and hence unfortunately arises a self-conviction that 
they are privileged to the enjoyment of " ocium cum dignitate," and 
that their ancestors having formerly possessed estates, they are there- 
fore entitled to them. Commenting on this visionary importance, 
the writer of a memoir of Lord Ormond acutely remarks; " it may 
well deserve the diligence of politicians, to inquire whether the 

* A statute passed in Queen Ann's reign directs the punishment of all loose vagrants, 
and such as pretend to be " Irish gentlemen/' who will not work but demand victuals and 
coshering from house to house. 


Fcmembrance of high birth and remains of hereditary honours, un- 
supported by wealth and power, have not been more frequently 
incentives of daring wickedness, than motives of heroic actions, and 
whether more have not endeavoured to restore the dignities of their 
famihes, by shaking the government of their country, than by studying 
its interest or promoting its welfare/' 

Poor, proud and sensitive, the Irish character is one to excite our 
pity, were not those feeUngs in some measure deadened by the 
counteraction of others, and yet, no doubt can be entertained of 
their innate existence. In communicating with the peasantry, every 
account given by them is in a strain of hyperbole ; I have heard the re- 
sident of a mud cabin speak with perfect assurance of his ^' drawings 
room*' — an apartment in the roof, to which he ascended by means of 
9 ladder ; and the foot-way through his half acre of cabbage garden, 
has become the " road through his farmy As a fair specimen of 
what Mr, Bush not unaptly terms " Hibernian importance,'^ perhaps 
I may be excused for the introduction of the well known answer, 
** Timber and fruit j' given from a coasting-vessel freighted with 
birch-brooms and potatoes, when hailed by a revenue cruizer off Cork^ 
Harbour to ascertain her cargo. 

The letter of a village piper requesting payment for his professional 
exertions at some little f&te given by the lady of the manor, is a 
curiosity in its way, and I can vouch for its genuineness, being 
acquainted with the parties. 

To the Hon. Mrs. B . 


The Bearer hereof is the piper that played for your 

Lordable family at the Terrace on the 12th inst., and I am referred to 

your Honour for my hire. Your Ladyship's pardon for my boldness 

would be almost a sufficient compensation for my labour. 

Pateick Walsh. 

G G 


It is to be hoped the ideal consequence which this strain of hyper- 
bole produces may lighten at least the mental wretchedness of the Irish 
labourer's condition; for to whatever causes the present abject state 
of the peasantry has been ascribed, no one can doubt the fact; nor 
can it be more effectively pictured, than in the account given me by 
one of those speculative wanderers who annually migrate to England 
in search of harvest work. 

My informant had travelled from near Limerick to Dublin, on foot, 
with another young man ; they had saved up twelve shillings and 
sixpence for their travelling expenses, and he and his companion 
had paid 2«. 6d. each for their passage from Dublin to Liverpool, 
and would have double that sum to pay on returning. Some, he told 
mcy made money by coming to England — others did not — for his 
own part, he had been better than a week in the strange country, 
and had only got one day's work, for which he received two shillings. 
^' I am,'' said he, " a bachelor, but married men also come over to 
make the harvest. In my own country I should have at this time (Mid- 
summer), if I could get work, ten-pence or a shilling a-day, besides 
my bit and sup (potatoes and milk) ; but, indeed, your honour, I 
looked to better myself by seeking my fortune this side the water — 
the times are so bad at home, although I have no wife — and the peo- 
ple, God help them, so poverty struck. When a married man comes 
over," (he replied to my interrogatory,) " he leaves his wife and family 
enough of the potatoes to last them during his absence, and lets them 
get the kitchen (that's any relish, your honour, in the shape of a her- 
ring or so) the best way they can. Should their'stock of potatoes 
not last till his return, the wife and children have just to shut up their 
bit of a cabin and go about the country begging for God's sake." 

The average annual rent of a cabin may be about forty shillings, 
or, with a patch of ground, perhaps fifty shillings. These hovels have 
been already described ; yet miserable and destitute of comfort as 
they are, the benighted peasant or houseless mendicant, who raises 


die latch Mrith the benediction^ '^ God save all bereT is confident of 
receiving shelter and every rite of hospitality as far as it is in the 
power of the inmates to bestow them. He is welcomed to the best 
seat the cabin affords, the largest potatoe is selected from the dish 
and placed before him, and that ^^ reserve towards strangers which 
alike characterize the Englishman and his mastiff/' is unknown. 
This hospitality is not confined solely to the cottage, but seems a 
national traits which those who have visited the country, whatever 
may be their condition, are bound in gratitude to acknowledge. 
Smith, in his History of Cork, tells us of a stone which was formerly 
set up on the west side of the high road near Dunusky , not far from 
Macroom, bearing an inscription in Irish, desiring all travellers to 
repair to the house of Mr. Edmund Mac Swiney for entertainment. 
^' This stone,'' adds Dr. Smith, *^ now lies in a ditch, and the Irish 
say that the person of this family who overthrew it, never throve 
after/' A later period has witnessed the hospitahty of Mr. Mathews, 
at Thomastown, in the county of Tipperary, a gentleman of moderate 
fortune, who constructed a mansion and maintained an establishment 
for the reception of forty guests ; to whom, no doubt, the prolonged 
visit of Dean Swift, in company with Dr. Sheridan, is remembered. 
Intemperance is the result of indiscriminate hospitality, and it has 
too frequently happened, that the tranquil comforts of domestic life 
are sacrificed to the glory of occasional drunken triumphs. Sir 
Richard Cox relates an anecdote of Turlogh Lynogh, an Irish chief- 
tain, in the reign of Ehzabeth, who went to Newry to meet the Lord 
Deputy for the purpose of swearing submission to the Queen of 
England, bringing with him no less a sum than 400/. in money, " the 
entire of which, he and his followers spent in tippling and carousing 
in three days time" — " and so," continues that historian, *♦ having 
received some small presents from the Deputy, he returned joyfully 
home," to meet the poverty occasioned by this excess : but we need 
not turn to the page of history for instances where acres of paternal 

GG 2 


property have been yielded to gratify an inordinate desire of popu- 

It isy however, only just to remark, that such occasions of display 
are long remembered ; an English tourist, who visited Ireland in 
1748, mentions, that hearing frequently, during his stay at Kilkenny »; 
the expression ^^ I have not seen or done such a thing since the 
Review at Bennett's bridge," became curious to learn what this review 
was, that it should be referred to as an era ; when he was informed, 
" that the Duke of Ormond reviewed the army there in 1704, during 
which period he resided in the Castle of Kilkenny, w^ith all the splen- 
dour of a royal court,'" and that no officer was wanting that may be 
found in the palaces of sovereign princes. 

A love of drinking, which is said to be a prevailing passion with 
the Irish, may readily be ascribed to a variety of causes ; to a natu- 
ral fondness of excitement, to convivial feelings, or the extravagant 
notions too generally encouraged of universal hospitality. Added to 
the causes already enumerated, the cheap rate at which illicit spirit 
is sold in Ireland, and the facility of procuring this potent beverage, 
which comes 

" From a still, 
Jiist under the hill. 
Where the eye of the gauger saw it not/' 

are Strong temptations to indulgence; and indeed the patrons, or 
meetings on saint days, equal, if not exceed, the riot of an ancient 

A peasant, after suffering from the ill consequences of intoxication, 
will often forswear liquor of any kind for a given period ; or will take 
an oath not to taste spirits within a certain barony, or ^^ in any house,'' 
or " either in or out of a house," and though these vows are some- 
times religiously observed, yet are they as frequently avoided by 
various and amusing stratagems : for instance, a man will walk tei^ 

Chap.XII. manners and customs. 229 

miles with the whiskey in his hand until arrived without the prescribed 
boundary ; or, in the second case, drink it in the open jair ; and 
even where he has pledged himself to drink ^^ neither in nor out of a 
house/' his ingenuity has devised a mode of doing so, with one foot 
within the door and the other without ; and, when he swears by all 
he considers holy, to diink ^' not a drop at all at all,'' he surmounts 
his difficulty by eating the bread he has sopped in " the cratur.'' 

It is hot surprising that wine or spirits should be considered an in- 
fallible remedy for every complaint, since the seat of every disease 
is believed to be in the heart. The universal comment beside the 
bed of an invalid is — " His poor heart just wants a little drop of 
comfort to nourish it ;" and accordingly, the doors of the country 
gentry are daily beset with squalid applicants, each presenting a vial 
bottle and beseeching a drop of wine " for a poor man lying down 
in his sick bed yonder;" and, whatever may be the state of his pulse, 
a refusal is considered as little short of barbarity. This faith in the 
medicinal properties of wine reminds me of a story related by Stany- 
hurst, respecting a dispute concerning the Ormond title, between Sir 
James of Ormond and Sir Pierce Butler, it having been assumed 
and the annexed property seized by the former, notwithstanding its 
rightful descent to the latter. In 1518, Sir Pierce, who was after- 
wards the eighth earl, became reduced to extreme indigence; and his 
wife, the Lady Margaret Fitzgerald, (now remembered as the great 
Countess of Ormond,) falling ill, requested him to procure some wine 
for her ; unable to comply with her wishes, and affected by her mise- 
rable condition, he vowed that she should have wine within four- 
and-twenty hours, or that she might look forward to sup on milk 
alone, without a husband. Sir Pierce accordingly went in search of 
the usurper of the Ormond title, attacked and slew him, and succeeded 
to his inheritance. 

The violent proceeding of Sir Pierce Butler will not appear remark- 
able in the unsettled reign of Elizabeth, when the anecdotes of 


O'Leary the outlaw and Morty Oge O^Sullivan, related in this 
volume, are sufficient to prove the want of legal restraint in Ireland 
within the last century. The feudal system survived in the hearts of 
the people to such an extent, that the laws were seldom carried into 
effect without the most violent popular excitement ; ^* Might, not 
Right,'' was the motto of the times ; many estates were seized by force, 
and held until possession constituted a claim which could not be suc- 
cessfully opposed. Tracts of ground were granted to leading men 
for their protection, and compromises for seizure were often made 
by the weaker party. Of this, one instance is lying before me in an 
indenture dated at Cashd, 1734, where a farm of 85 acres, with 
the privilege of cutting turf on an adjoining common, is granted for 
999 years, in consideration of the sum of one penny and the future 
security of several lands in the counties of Tipperary, Cork and 
Limerick. Nor was personal security more certain than that of pro« 
perty. Females were carried off by force from their dwdlings, and 
compelled to become the wife or mistress of the man in whose power 
they were. It was enough that any farmer's daughter was supposed 
to possess a dowry (one of five guineas being often considered a suffi-* 
cient inducement); she was immediately seized and taken forcibly away 
from her father's house, by some young man at the head of a gang 
of twenty or thirty associates. With the peasantry, this violent mea- 
sure was commonly adjusted by marriage, and it was sometimes the 
conclusion of a rustic courtship. 

Amongst the most striking remains of feudal manners are the con* 
tests between clans or factions, which so frequently occur, in open 
defiance of the civil authority. A fair, a patron or other public 
meeting seldom concludes without a pitched battle, and the loss of 
three or four lives ; the weapons are commonly cudgels and stones ; 
but in 1813, 1 witnessed " the gathering,'' as it was called, of a faction, 
for the purpose of deciding some matter of right, which had been 
thus disputed annually for more than forty years; where about 


twenty men were armed with muskets and fowling-pieces, and others 
with scythes and bayonets stuck on poles. I think it was three years 
afterwards the same parties met at Bally vouraey,* in the west of the 
county Cork, when the sub-sheriflf, having notice of their intended 
meeting, arrived with a few dragoons for the purpose of preserving 
the peace: on his appearance, the contending parties seemed to 
forget their former animosity, and uniting into one body, made so 
unexpected an attack with stones and other missiles, (the women and 
children even joining in the assault,) that the officers empowered to 
disperse the assembly were compelled to make a rapid retreat. 

After the patron (a meeting particularly described in a subsequent 
paper) has concluded, it is not unusual to seek a quarrel sufficient 
to authorise a general fight, and so inherent is the spirit leading to 
this kind of pastime, that rather than remain an idle spectator of 
moderate enjoyment, or return quietly home with a bead unbroken, 
a man will sometimes, from a mere love of combat, and without any 
malice, take off his coat, and holding it by the collar, trail it through 
the assembly, challenging or beguiling any one to step on it ; which 
insult he no sooner succeeds in obtaining, than he feels justified in 
knocking down the offender, and the sport begins. The pleasure 
derived from this sort of occupation may doubtless be felt by men 

* The following particulars of the commencement of this affray are collected from a 
local newspaper : 

On Sunday, 2l8t July, 18 16, two parties, the Lynches and Twomeys, met at BaOy- 
vourney ; they had been for several years unfriendly to each other, and, in consequence of 
this hostile feeling. Sir Nicholas Colthurst directed his under agent to desire that they 
should not go to the same chapel on Sundays — that the former should attend the Ballyn> 
keeny Chapel and the latter the Western Chapel ; the Lynches notwithstanding refused to 
go to the place of worship appointed for them, and, in a body of about a hundred or 
upwards, armed with guns, swords, scythes, pistols, and various other weapons, remained, 
whilst mass was saying, outside the chapel appropriated to the Twomeys, shouting vio- 
lently ; when the Twomeys left the chapel, the Lynches followed and attacked them. 


who will tdl you, they carry a cudgel " just to keep the cold out of 
their hands/' 

The mode in which a farmer obtains his supply of fuel for the 
winter is somewhat singular. His intention of cutting turf on a par^ 
ticular day in the ensuing week is generally announced at the parish 
chapel, and on the appointed morning all his neighbours and friends 
(some of whom have perhaps travelled ten or twelve miles) assemble 
for the purpose of assisting in the labour. Emulation produces 
exertion, and, owing to the number of hands employed, the work is 
quickly performed — four ot five hours being the usual time devoted to 
the purpose. No wages are given on these occasions, but, to com- 
pensate for non-payment, there is always a feast (if it may be so called) 
prepared, with the addition of a piper. These are termed Mihill 
meetings — ^and the same custom prevails at haymaking. 

A gentleman resident in the west of county Cork described to me 
a meeting of this kind which occurred in 1820, and subsequent 
transactions have impressed the account on my memory. He repre-^ 
sented that a party of horsemen, about five-and-twenty, each carrying 
his spade on his shoulder, arrived at full trot at the house of a farmer, 
who had announced the cutting of his turf for that day ; the order 
in which this band rode my friend remarked as being particularly 
regular ; three a-breast, and having altogether an air of military dis- 
cipline, but little in accordance with their avocation. On coming 
up to the door of the house, the word halt was given by the leader, 
who was styled captain, and instantly obeyed, when he advanced to 
the farmer and apologized for the lateness of his visit, by stating, that 
he and his merry men had been detained at another Mihill meeting 
six miles off, but that, haying finished their work there, they had come 
to help him with his. 

The festivities and customs peculiar to certain seasons of the j^ear 
are many of them curious, and may be novel to the English reader. 


They resemble in a great degree those of the Scottish peasantry, and 
are, as in the Highlands, more vigorously observed than in England, 
where civilization has destroyed most of the ancient and mysterious 
feelings productive of such rites. 

On the last night of the year, a cake is thrown against the outside 
door of each house by the head of the family, which ceremony is said 
to keep out hunger during the ensuing one ; and the many thousand 
practical illustrations of the fallacy of this artifice have not yet suc- 
ceeded in producing conviction of the same. On the anniversary 
of St. Stephen, (the day after Christmas day^) it is customary for 
groups of young villagers to bear about a holly bush adorned with 
ribbons, and having many wrens depending from it. This is carried 
from house to house with some ceremony, the " Wren boys'' chaunt- 
ing several verses, the burthen of which may be collected from the 
following lines of their song. 

*' The Wren, the Wren, the king of all birds, 
St. Stephen's day was caught in the fui^e. 
Although he is little, his femily's ^reat, 
I pray you, good landlady, give us a treat. 

My box would speak if it had but a tongue, 
And two or three shillings would do it no wrong. 
Sing holly, sing ivy — sing ivy, sing holly, 
A drop just to drink, it would drown melancholy. 

And if you draw it of the best, 

I hope in Heaven your soul may redt; 

But if you draw it of the small. 

It won't agree with the Wren boys at all." 8lc. &c* 

A small piece of money is usually bestowed on them, and the evening 
concludes in merry-making with the money thus collected. 

On the eve of St. John and some other festivals, a broom stick 
dressed up as a figure, and called a Bredogue, is bome about in the 

H H 

234 MANNERS AND CUsfoMS. Chap. XII. 

twilight from one cabin to another, and suddenly pushed in at the 
door. The alarm or surprize occasioned by this feat produces some 

The superstitions of the Irish are generally of a harmless kind, that 
the mind rather lingers on with pleasure than turns from in disgust; 
but there is one superstition I have not yet named, of so horrible and 
diabolic a nature, it was long before I could believe in its extensive 
existence ; of which fact, however, minute inquiry and subsequent 
evidence have fully convinced me. I allude to the belief that the 
left hand of a corpse, if dipped into the milk-pail, has the effect of 
making the milk produce considerably more cream and of a richer 
and better kind than it would have done without this spell. In the 
year 1816, I saw a woman who had been apprehended and taken 
into custody, on a charge of raising cream by means of a dead man^s 
hand, and two hands, in a shocking state of putrefaction, were exhibited 
as evidences of the fact ; it was afterwards, however, proved that these 
hands had been conveyed into the dairy by some persons who wished 
to injure the poor woman ; but the circumstance was sufficient to 
prove the existence of the superstition, which then became a general 
subject of conversation in the neighbourhood where it occurred. 

Courtship is generally commenced soon after the parties attain 
their teens, and the bashfulness of the youthful lover is sometimes 
very amusing. 

" As I was within three bits of miles of Tim Haggerty's cabin/' 
replied a fine lad of fourteen, when asked why he had loitered on 
an errand, " and Tim Haggerty was a relation of mine, for his mother 
was a second cousin of my grandfather's gossip, and as I thought 
your honour would not be wanting me, I just stept across, I could'nt 
do less why ! to inquire after his welfare ; and finding only Honny at 
home, I could^nt but wait a little, as he would soon be in, she said ; 
but as for my thinking of Honny, your honour, I that's not out of my 
time, and that has but less than nothing to begin the world with. 

Chav.XIL MANSERS and customs. 235 

it is only those that seeks to belye me that spreads the report ; but 
Hoany for all that is as proper and clean a girl as any in the country, 
and if your honour did but know her, youM not say that was a bold 
word, for nobody could gainsay it/' 

A numerous o£fspring is the result of early marriage ; and it fre- 
quently happens that the appearance of father and son is more Hke 
that of brothers, and they associate together rather with a fraternal 
feeling, than with that usually existing between parent arid child. 

A house with three contiguous apartments is selected for a wedding ; 
the reason of this is to preserve a distinction between the classes of 
company expected. The best apartment is reserved for the bride 
and bridegroom, the priest, the piper, and the more opulent and 
respectable guests, as the landlord, his family and the neighbouring 
gentry, who are always invited and usually attend on such occasions. 
The second apartment is appropriated for the neighbours in general; 
and the third, or an out-house, is devoted to the reception of buck- 
aughs, shulers, and other beggars. When the marriage is celebrated 
two collections are raised amongst the guests, the first for the priest, 
the other for the piper. The assembly does not take place until late 
in the evening, when the marriage ceremony is performed, and the 
festivities seldom conclude before day-break the next morning. 

Buckaughs are a description of mendicants that within these few 
years have considerably diminished. The name implies a lame or 
mutilated person; but vigorous young men may be found, who, having 
assumed the ragged garb, crave the privileges of the impotent and 
aged. In Ireland there are no gipsies, but their place is filled by 
buckaughs, who have the same wandering habits and adopt the sam.e 
unsettled mode of life, without however entering into associations or 

A buckaugh is a solitary and isolated being, one who seems to 
stand alone in the world without apparent occupation or pursuit. 

H H 2 


He is met travelling both on the high road and in unfrequented 
paths, at all hours and in all seasons, his beard unshaven, and his 
body encased in a garment composed of shreds and patches, or, to 
use the more expressive local idiom, '^ a coat all stitches and pack- 
thread/' Loaded with innumerable bags and wallets, he strides on, 
assisted by a long walking pole shod with iron, and terminated by a 
formidable spike. In the evening the buckaugh is seen seated beside 
the turf fire of the poor cottager's hearth, partaking of his humUe 
fare, the wallets and staff deposited in a corner of the cabin, and at 
night he reposes beside them on a bundle of straw. It is not xm^ 
common to find these men with considerable literary acquirements; 
they are generally the possessors of several books and Irish manu- 
scripts, which they have collected, and bear about from place to 
place with incredible fondness, nor can money always purchase part 
of their travelling hbrary ; their knowledge of writing renders them 
acceptable guests to many farmers, whose correspondence is often, 
entirely carried on by such agency. By the younger members of 
the family, buckaughs are looked upon with much regard, and made 
the mutual confidant of their rustic amours. These persons write 
love-letters and then secretly deliver them, conunend the youth ta 
his mistress and the girl to her lover, and are consequently caressed 
and consulted by all parties. A buckaugh is the umpire of rural 
disputes, and the ambassador from one clan or faction to another, 
in which diplomatic capacity he is termed " the spokesman.'* The 
superabundance of potatoes and broken victuals bestowed upon 
them from motives of gratitude or charity, they usually sell to the 
family of the poor peasant or to city mendicants, whom they con- 
sider as an inferior order of persons, and in fact they are so, as their 
respective means of gaining a livelihood are essentially at variance. 
Deeply conversant with character, this singular class of mendicants 
are quick, artful and intelligent, but assume a careless and easy 


manner, seldom hesitating when it is for their own advantage, duping 
those who have confided in them, and yet I have heard instances of 
the almost chivalrous honour of a poor buckaugh. 

Beggars crowd round strangers at every town or village, in a 
manner that to the English traveller appears quite marvellous, always 
urging their demands in the imperative mood. " Ah then, if you 
have one half-penny in the world you shall give it me till I get some 
food for a sick child.'' " Remember the poor, your honour; and may 
God increase you; a fivepenny, your honour, would be nothing to the 
likes of ye ; a tenpenny , your honour, amongst us, and we will not 
grumble/' At least twenty of these demands at once assail you ; and if 
you give to some, the reinforcement of applicants becomes so numerous 
as to be quite deafening, invoking the most singular blessings on you 
and yours for ever ; but if you are " hard hearted,'^ bestowing as 
liberally their curses. The eloquence of an Irish mendicant is very 
peculiar and sometimes incredible. I remember a poor blind woman, 
who for many years took her station every evening on George's Quay 
in Cork, whose appeals to the passengers were made in the most 
figurative manner, and never perhaps was more poetry on the subject 
of blindness uttered than I have heard from her lips. 



Suche temporal war and bate 
Ab nowe is made of late 
Against holy Church estate ! 
* * * 

God of his miseracion 
Send better reformacion.** 


Cloyne is a small town situated about two miles from the eastern 
shore of Cork Harbour, and a Bishop's See of considerable antiquity, 
St. Colman having founded its cathedral in the sixth century. Close 
to the cathedral stands a round tower, the most remarkable feature 
of the place. The town is straggling and miserable, composed of 
mud cabins and an inferior description of houses. Its name is derived 
from Cluaine, which signifies in Irish a cave, the surrounding lime- 
stone rock abounding with caverns and subterranean passages; 
Cluain, however, according to Dr. Ledwich, was a general term for any 
Druidical retreat. As there is no other market town for the whole 
of the well peopled peninsula, from Ballycotton to Rostellan, the 
influx of persons on a fair or market-day is very considerable. 

Chap. XIII. CLOYNE. 239^ 

In 1800 Cloyne was calculated to contain 308 inhabited houses, 
and rather more than 1600 souls. In 1813, the number of inha- 
bitants was stated to be above 2000. 

A branch of the Fitzgerald family, distinguished by the title of 
Seneschals of Imokilly, had formerly two or three castles here, and 
were the chief proprietors of the adjacent district, from which their 
title was derived ; one that was first bestowed in 1420 by James, 
Earl of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on Lord Desmond, 
after whose death it was assumed by the head of his descendants 
resident \n the district. 

Hooker gives us an account of a skirmish that took place near 
Cloyne, between the Seneschal of Imokilly and Sir Walter Ealeigh, 
in which the intrepidity and skill of Raleigh were remarkable. Raleigh 
afterwards accused the Seneschal of cowardice on the occasion ; 
and such were the manners of the times, that Lord Ormond and Sir 
Walter more than once pubUcly challenged Sir John of Desmond, 
and the Seneschal, both of whom were in open rebellion, to decide 
the matter by single combat. 

We are informed by the writer of the Pacata Hibemia, that the 
Lord Deputy Mountjoy, on his return from the siege of Kinsale to 
Dubhn by way of Waterford, came out of his road to pay a visit to 
Cloyne, where he slept on the 7th of March, l601, and was received 
by Master John Fitz Edmonds,* who held the town and manor- 
house in fee-farm, and who " gave cheereful and plentiful entertayn- 

* Amongst the Harleian MSS. (No. 6993, iii.) a letter is preserved from Sir Walter 
Raleigh dated from Lismore, to the celebrated Earl of Leicester, which concludes with 
the following postscript 

" I am bold, being bound by very conscience, to commend unto your Honour's con- 
sideration, the pitiful estate of John Fitz-Edmonds of Cloyne, a gentleman, and the only 
man untouched and proved true to the Queen, both in this and the last Rebellion : Sir 
Warham (St. Leger) can deliver his service, what he is and what he deserveth." 

240 CLOYNE. Chap. XIIL 

ment to his lordship, and all such of the nobilitie, captaines, gentle- 
men and others as attended upon him f when the ** the lord deputy, 
as well as to requite his perpetual loyaltie to the crown of England, 
as also to encourage others in the hke, at his departure did honour 
him with the order of knighthood/' 

The cathedral of Cloyne is a small, heavy building, without any 
pretension to ornament, and is supposed, by the late Bishop Bennett, 
to have been built between the middle and the close of the thirteenth 
century ; " having,'' says the bishop, who was an eminent antiquary, 
'^ no mouldings of the zigzag, nail headed, or billeted kind, nor 
round arched windows, which distinguish what is called the Saxon, 
or rather Norman architecture, before the introduction of the Gothic 
in the time of Henry III., and which appear, for instance, in Cormac's 
chapel at Cashell. It is not evidently so early as that time, nor, on 
the other hand, has it the splendid arch or oak-leaved ornaments so 
common in the middle of Edward I.'s reign, therefore it is not 
so late as that period. I should be inclined to fix the era of its 
building to the latter year^ of the first of these princes, or the begin- 
ning of the reign of the last. The .windows, though since altered, 
were evidently of that sort called lancet windows, which were so 
common in the time of Henry III. ; see the great west window, and 
that of the south transept ; the latter on the outside, an additional 
argument for the date I have chosen ; as is also the circumstance that, 
about this time, three prelates out of four were Englishmen, in whose 
country monastic and cathedral architecture was in high estima- 

Bishop Bennett's reason for attributing the erection of the cathedral 
of Cloyne to the thirteenth century is clear and certainly decisive, 
if we allow the detail of any piece of Irish architecture to determine 
the date of its foundation. But the conclusion of the English anti- 
quary, who systematically assigns dates, will often prove erroneous 

Chap. XIIL * CLOYNE. 241 

in Ireland I where the distinctions and peculiarities of the Saxon and 
Gothic styles were imperfectly understood, and the result was a 
confused and barbarous irregularity. 

The Bishops Johnson and Woodward are buried in the cathedral. 
The latter died in 1794, and was distinguished by a controversy on 
White-Boyism, with the well known Father O'Leary, " May the 
Heavens be his bed! " ejaculated the poor woman, who showed me 
the interior of the church, on pointing out Bishop Woodward's monu- 
ment ; '^ when he died the poor lost a good friend/' A large and 
rather injured tomb of black marble near it, was pointed out as that 
of the Fitzgeralds, converted by the Earls of Thomond, since the 
decUne of the Fitzgerald family, to their own use. The original 
epitaph in Latin may be found in Smith; it commemorates the 
hospitality, learning and valour of John, a Geraldine, who died in 
1611, probably the same person as John Fitz Edmunds, knighted 
by Lord Mountjoy, and whose initials appear on an engraved stone 
in the wall of the bishop's palace. 

Before erecting the present cross wall at the entrance of the choir, 
which was done by Bishop Agar in 1776, as the workmen dug deep in 
the nave to lay the foundation, they came on a row of graves rather 
singularly constructed, consisting of brick cells, exactly suited to the 
size and shape of the body contained in each, and what is rather 
curious one of them ended at the shoulders, nor were any of the 
bones of the skull to be found with the body. " It is therefore not 
improbable,'" adds Bishop Bennett, who has recorded this discovery, 
" that the head of the owner rhay have been fixed on Cork gates 
in the times of turbulence, as they appear in the print given us in the 
Pacata Hiberniato be full of such kind of trophies/' I cannot leave 
the cathedral of Cloyne, without noticing the monument of Miss 
Adams, an accomplished and elegant young woman, whose prema- 
ture death was peculiarly melancholy. In the circle of my earliest 

I I 

242 CLOYNE. Chap. XIII. 

friends, her numerous acquirements and faultless disposition were 
dwelt upon as a darling theme, and her monument was contemplated 
with feelings of almost painful interest. The Epitaph is from the 
pen of the well known Mrs. Piozzi : 













June, 1804. Hester Lynch PionL 

In the East part of the church yard, are the remains of a small stone 
edifice called St. Colman^s Chapel. It stands East atid West, its 
length is thirty feet, and its breadth nineteen.* The round tower 

* A manuscript in the British Museum, which appears to have belonged to Sir James 
Ware, as I apprehend some notes upon it are in his writing, (No. LI of the Clarendon 
Collection 4796,) contains a very curious account of the ancient celebrity of Cloyne as a 
place of sepulchre, followed by a tedious enumeration of the lands given to the See^ in 
purchase for places of interment : it commences thus — 

. ** In the life of Ryyan it is sett downe, that the best blouds of Ireland have choosen their 
bodyes to be buried in Cluaine, which choice, for that Ryyan had such power being a holy 
bishop through the will of God, that what soules harboured in the bodies buried under 
that dust may never be adjudged to damnation, wherefore those of the said blond have 
divided the church yard amongst themselves by the consent of Ryyan and his holy dearks.'' 

A specimen of the other parts of this manuscript, may be acceptable, as I believe it has 
never before been noticed, I shall therefore give a short extract with the conclusion : 

'* Thus hath Mac Carthy, iirst Great Finyn Mac Carthy pay'd for his sepulture there 

Chap. XIII. CtOYNE. 243 

is on the opposite side of the street from the church, situated, as these 
buildings almost invariably are, near the west door. Miss Nicholson's 
drawing will convey a better idea of this curious structure, than a 
description however minute,could do. Whilst engaged in sketching 
the tower. Miss Nicholson was surrounded by more than a hundred 
of the inhabitants, who flocked to the spot with a curiosity so great 
as scarcely to be credited, and, to use her own words, '^ closed on 
me with such overwhelming pressure, that I could scarcely draw 
either that or my breath/' 

This building received considerable damage from lightning : the 
following account of which is chiefly collected from Dr. Smith's 
County History. Bishop Berkeley also relates the circumstance in a 
letter dated the 2d February, 1749. A thunder storm with lightning 
passed through the county Cork, on the night of the 10th January, 
1749) in a line from west to east, and after killing some cows in a 
field south of Cork, struck the round tower of Cloyne used as a 
belfry to its cathedral. The electric matter first rent the vaulted 
arch at the top, threw down the great bell presented by Dean 
Davies, together with the three lofts, and, descending perpendicularly 

viz. for a proportion of nyne cells or chapels^ that is to say 48 daies* for every chapell^ 
tKe chapels were these^ Kill Kyran in Desmond, Kill Cluain, KillTorssair and Killatbebhe, 
and the other five kills of cells cannot be reade." 8cc. 

'' And it was the Bishop Muircherlagh O'Muridhe, that caused this to be written and 
drawen out of the auncient life of Ryyan in this easie language, fearing least it should be 
obscured or lost, together with what other things y* were bestowed upon Cluain during 
his life, when the year of y* Lord was 20, three hundred and a thousand years, Uppon 
the stone of whose tomb was engraven in Irish, Muriertach O'Murrid Bp of Clone, head 
of all * * (one word which cannot be deciphered) Shanan his foster brother erected this 
stone monument for him/' 

'^ The Friary of Kilconnell mentioned in this life," (says a note which I take to be by 
Sir James Ware,) '' founded about the year 1400, sheweth there is a mistake in the yeare 
here set downe. Qy, if it should not be 1420 ?" 

* 48 days ploughing, or as much land as might be ploughed b^ one man and horse in 48 dajs, whence the term plough- 

I I 2 

244 C LOY N E. Chip. XIIL 

to the lowest floor, forced its way, with a vioIeDt explosion, through 
one side of the tower, and drove some of the stones, which were 
admirably well jointed and locked into each other, through the roof 
of a neighbouring stable. The door, t]|ough held by a strong iron 
lock, was thrown to a distance of sixty yards and shattered to pieces, 
and a few pigeons that used to roost in the top of the steeple were 
scorched to death, not a feather being left unsinged. The conical 
stone roof destroyed by this accident was never replaced, but the 
height of the tower was lowered more than six feet, and an em battle- 
ment substituted. The stones of which the tower is composed have 
been mostly brought from the sea shore, and were prepared with 
much care, though about half way up the building there is an evident 
difference in the stones themselves as well as in the mode of placing 
them. The steps to the door are modern, Hke the embattlement ; for 
these towers, whatever may have been their use, were entered by 
means of a rope or ladder, the door being generally eight or nine 
feet from the ground. In this at Cloyne it is about thirteen^ and at 
Kilmacduagh, in the county Galway, no less than twenty-four. The 
height of the Round Tower of Cloyne is stated to be ninety-two feet, 
and the thickness of the wall forty-three inches : the first story has 
projecting stones for the joists of a floor to rest upon. 

The Bishop's Palace adjoins the town, and was rebuilt in the early 
part of the last century by Bishop Crowe, a descendant of the noto- 
rious Sir Sackville Crowe. It is an old fashioned and clumsy 
building, without any claims to architectural beauty ; but, as the 
residence of the amiable Bishop Berkeley, possesses a superior 
attraction : the most profound metaphysician of his time, he was 
distinguished by the disinterestedness of his character and the purity of 
his mind, and truly merited the commendation of Pope, who ascribes 

'* To Berkeley every virtue under Heaven.^ 

His Essay on the Virtues of Tar- water was perhaps his most popular 

Chap. XIIL CLOYNE. 245 

work. This discovery excited an extraordinary sensation in the 
medical world, and tar- water, for a considerable period, was admi- 
nistered as an infallible specific for almost every complaint. — But it 
may be considered impertinent to dwell on the life and writings of 
one so well known as Berkeley. — When appointed Bishop of Cloyne, 
in 1733, he gave up the distinguished circles of London in which he 
had moved, and became the constant resident of a remote and incon- 
siderable town in Ireland, where, with real patriotism, he expended 
within his diocese the income derived firom it ; and his exertions to 
improve the habits and condition of the people by whom he was 
surrounded render him as illustrious an example to Irishmen of 
rank and property, as do his studies and inquiring habits to those 
engaged in literary or scientific pursuits.* 

The bishop's demesne is rather picturesque, and considered to be 
the most fertile land in the district. Some fine ash-trees that over- 
hang a pretty dell aflFord the artist good studies of close scenery, 
improved by jutting masses of well-coloured rock. In the grounds, 
not far from the palace, are the entrances of two natural limestone 
caverns, into neither of which it was possible to advance far, both 
being choked up by weeds and filled with water. The ancient name 
of this spot was Monelusky, or the Field of Caverns ; and the names 
of the adjacent grounds speak the savageness of the place in early 
times; Knocknamodree is the Hill of the Gray Dog or Wolf; Park 
na Drislig, the Field of Briers; Monecranisky, the Meadow of the 
Wild Boars. Of the hills surrounding the town, that on the north 
is called Bohermore, or the Great Highway, from a tradition that a 
road passed over it, from the sea on the south to the sea on the north 
of the kingdom.f The hill on the north is Knocknamodree, or the 

* Dr. John O'Brien, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, and the contemporary of 
Berkeley, was the reputed author of an Iriah-English dictionary printed at Paris in 4to- 
1 768. This volume, now I believe rather scarce, is held in considerable estimation. 

t The manuscript quoted in a preceding note contains the foUowmg passage, which 

246 CLOYNE. Chap. XIII. 

Hill of the Wolf, already mentioned ; and to the north-east is Cur- 
louin, or the Hill with the naked Turn, which expresses its present 
appearance with much precision. 

Cloyne is indebted to Bishop Crowe for its poor-school; the 
original foundation was endowed by that prelate for twelve boys. 
The present number of children exceeds seventy, boys and girls, and 
the system followed appears to be that recommended by the Society 
for Promoting National Education. 

Bishop Crowe is stated to have expended a large sum of money 
on the improvement of Cloyne, and he recovered for the see the 
lands of Donoughmore, containing 8000 acres. The value of the 
bishoprick is now estimated at between six and seven thousand 
pounds per annum. Ecclesiastical property, however, has felt the 
fluctuation of the times. During the Reformation, the Church of 
England suffered severely in its temporal affairs, more than half the 
clerical property in the kingdom being vested in lay hands ; but 
that of Ireland was in a manner annihilated. Bishopricks, colleges, 
glebes and tithes were divided without mercy amongst the great men 
of the time, or leased out on small rents for ever to the friends and 

seems to have some reference to this tradition. " The Lough^' I presume to be Lough 
Derg, so celebrated for containing St. Patrick's Purgatory. 

'' And the same O'Ruairk of his devotion towards y* Church undertooke to repayre 
those Churches and to keep them in reparation during his life uppon his owne chardges 
and to make a causey or Toghar from y* place called Crvan na feadh to pibhac Conaire 
and from pibhar to y* Logh and the said Fergal did pform it together viritfa all other pro- 
mises y^ he made to Cluain and the repayring of that Number of Chapels or Cells and the 
making of that causey or Toghar and hath for a monument built a small steep Castle or 
Steeple commonly called in Irish Clairtheagh in Cluain as a memorial of his owne parte 
of that Cemeterie : and the said Fergal hath made all those Cells before specified in mort- 
maine for him and his heiers to claim and thus was the Sepulture of the O'Ruairks bought" 

Whether this MS. refers to Cloyne in the country Cork, or to some other place, I am 
unable to determine with confidence, as no less than seventy or eighty Cluains, Clones 
and Cioynes are mentioned by^Colgan and Archdall. Vide LeAaich*$ Antiquities of Ireland, 
p. 7«. 

Chap. XIIL CLOYNE. 247 

relations of the inciimbents. Many Irish bishopricks never recovered 
this devastation, as Aghadoe, Kilfenora and others. The Bishoprick 
of Ferns was left not worth one shilling. Killala, the best in Ireland, 
was worth only 300/. per annum ; Clonfert, 200/. ; the Archbishoprick 
of Cashel, 100/.; Waterford, 100/.; Cork, only 70/.; Ardagh, 
1/. 1^. 6d. ; and the rest at even a lower rate. Cloyne, situated at a 
distance from the capital, an appendage to the neighbouring see of 
Cork, and without head or guardian, had very little chance of 
escaping in the general plunder; the out-lying estates of the see 
became immediately the prey of the nobility near them. The Earl 
of Cork seized the manor of Inchiquin ; Lord Barrymore formed 
pretensions to Kilcolman : Lord Clancarty got possession of Do- 
noughmore, and the family of the Fitzgeralds, who were extremely 
powerful, and had already obtained the manor and greater part of 
the burgery of Cloyne, cast their eyes on the remaining posses- 
sions of the see. As the plan was a bold one, it was necessary to 
proceed with caution. In order to make the leases of the bishop's 
lands vaUd in those days, it was proper to have them confirmed by 
the dean and chapter, the church having thus, as it were, two securi- 
ties that estates should not be wantonly granted away. 

To surmount this difficulty, Maurice Fitzgerald, though a layman, 
had himself appointed to the deanery of Cloyne, and filled the 
chapter with his dependents ; lay prebends as well as deans being 
not uncommon in the time of Queen Elizabeth. He then appUed 
to Roger Skiddy, Bishop-elect of Cork and Cloyne, to grant him the 
possessions of the latter in fee-farm, to which Skiddy is said to have 
consented in 1557 ; but there seems to have been some irregularity 
or obstacle to the quiet succession both of Skiddy, who is stated to 
have resigned in 1566, and Dixon, who was deprived in 1571 ; so 
that it was not until eighteen years after this that the business was 
perfected, when Mathew Shehan, who was then bishop, in considera- 
tion of 40/. (equal to 500/. at present), leased out, on the 14th July, 
1575, at the annual rent of five marks, for ever, the whole demesne of 



Chap. XIIL 

Cloyne (four plough lands), with six other plough lauds, the extended 
value of which must be now nearly 5000/. per annum, and an 

inscribed stone in the wall of the palace, 
which is here copied, seems to have 
been set up immediately after the Fitz- 
geralds obtained possession, as an evi- 
dence of their right. 

In order to give some colour to the 
transaction, it was performed in this 
».>v.,.^^.p . ,. ...,, ^ mrrfigf manner: Bishop Shehan granted the 
fee-farm of all the temporalities of the see of Cloyne for ever to 
Richard Fitz Maurice and his heirs on the above conditions. The 
dean and chapter, under their common seal, confirmed the grant, 
and then Fitz Maurice, who seems to have been merely an agent, is 
stated to have sold his right and title to Master John Fitz Gerald of 

Bishop Lyon, who succeeded Shehan in I6O6, was the first Pro- 
testant bishop, and held the united sees of Cork, Cloyne and Ross; 
he is said to have been in the naval service, and having distinguished 
himself by his valour, was promised promotion to the first situation 
which should become vacant in the gift of the crown ; this happening to 
be the bishoprick of Cork, he was appointed to it. As an ecclesiastic, 
he was more esteemed for his benevolence and charity than for elo- 
quence or learning. Almost the only sermon Bishop Lyon was ever 
known to have delivered being a very laconic one on the death of 
Queen Elizabeth, the language of which would have better suited 
the quarter-deck than the pulpit of a cathedral. Lithgow, the Scotch 
pilgrim, who visited Ireland in I6195 seems to allude to the appoint- 
ment of this ecclesiastic in his complaint against the corruption of the 
time. " Yea," exclaims he, " and rude-bred soldiers, whose educa- 
tion was at the musket-mouth, are become church-men !'' 

Bishop Lyon, in I6I8, petitioned council unsuccessfully for a 

Chap.XIIL cloyne. 249 

restoration of the see-lands of Cloyne ; and the fee-farm rent being 
all the property he derived from the see, he was nicknamed " Epis- 
copus quinque marcorum/' In this hopeless situation, the inter- 
ference of a higher power gave a favourable turn to the cause. The 
ravages of the Irish church, which had been carried on in the most 
open manner during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI. and 
EUzabeth, and more covertly, though almost as effectually, in the 
time of James I. were stopped on the accession of Charles I. ; and 
it is to the credit of this prince not only to have checked this dis- 
graceful and ruinous practice, but, in many instances, to have forced 
the plunderers to make restitution. Lord Strafford, a minister of 
great virtues, as well as great faults, had the honour of saving the 
remains of the Irish church. He found it, on his arrival in 1631, in a 
state of ruin : many of the bishoprics, as Ferns, Lismore and Cloyne, 
entirely destroyed, and the revenues of the others reduced to a 
trifle ; the churches pulled down, or in a state of desolation, and the 
glebes and tithes in the hands of laymen ; so that one nobleman in 
the western part of the kingdom (the Earl of Clanricarde) had no 
less than 100 livings in his own possession ; and the Earl of Cork, 
in the south, besides all the landed estates of Lismore and the Col- 
lege of Youghall, had impropriated all the Hvings belonging to both 
of them. 

The lord deputy began first to recover the lands which had been 
usurped from the bishoprics, and the mode he seems to have 
adopted for this purpose was by no means destitute of equity. He 
threatened the possessors with inquiring strictly into their titles, and 
fining them severely for their injustice if any fraud should be dis- 
covered ; but, to such as were willing to resign their fee-farms and 
consent to take a fresh lease from the see, at a higher and more 
equitable rent, though still very advantageous to the tenant, he pro- 
mised to prevail on the bishops to grant such leases for the term of 
sixty years, thus, in fact, allowing the lessees a reasonable advantage 

E E 

250 ' CLOXNE. Chap. XIII. 

for any itnprovemeDt they might have made on the lands, but 
reserving the lands themselves for the benefit of the church. 

The title-deeds and other papers belonging to the see of Cloyne, 
being either lost or intentionally destroyed by the Fitzgeralds, while 
the see was in the possession of that family, there is no early record 
now in the registry except that called " Pipam Colmani/' which is 
a list of the estates and manors belonging to the bishopric in 1364. 
It was composed by order of Bishop SwafFham, who was a Carmelite 
monk and a great opponent of WickliflTe, and who seems to have had 
some political importance in his day, being deputed by the parlia- 
ment, in conjunction with the Bishop of Meath, the Prior of St. 
John's, and Sir R. Holwood, Baron of the Exchequer, to sail to 
England and lay the state of the kingdom before Richard II. This 
document was missing when Smith wrote his history of Cork, and is 
said to have been recovered by accident some years after. Sir 
James Ware expressly mentions that it was not to be found when 
he wrote. The earliest paper except this is a sort of voluntary 
deposition by James Fitz John Gerald of Ballyfin, dated 1635, pur- 
porting to give evidence of the ancient state of the town. The evi- 
dence goes to prove that Bishop Francis Daniel, about 1260, gave 
the burial-ground and passed the manor, with many immunities, to 
the citizens and burgesses of Cloyne, they paying certain sums 
agreed upon by Bishop David, his predecessor ; that a charter was 
then solemnly given to the inhabitants ; that the city was divided 
into English Town or Street, and Irish Town or Street; the manor- 
house stood near the church, the bishops not having a foot of land 
reserved in the town ; that the bishop's house was in Irish Street, 
but of late, in the last Sir John's time, they had got one in EngUsh 
Street, &c. The authority of this paper was considered by the late 
Bishop Bennett doubtful, because brought forward by one of the 
parties interested in usurping the property, and alluding to transac- 
tions stated to have occurred nearly 400 years before, unsupported 

Chap. XIIL CLOYNE, 251 

by any evidence but hearsay tradition deposed by one of the pos- 
sessors of the ground, and the paper being produced or fabricated 
at the very time when Lord Strafford was beginning to question the 
Fitzgeralds' title to the estates of the see, and being the only record 
left in the registry. Bishop Bennett has collected many curious 
particulars respecting the history of the see of Cloyne, which he 
directed should be given, on his death, to the Registry, for the use 
of his successors, and of this manuscript, for the communication of 
which I am indebted to the Rev. Francis Kirchhoflfer, I have freely 
availed myself in compiling the present paper. 

Of the caves in the neighbourhood of Cloyne, I particularly visited 
that called Carrig a crump ; the entrance is in a limestone quarry 
belonging to the Messrs. Fitzgerald, where the stone used in building 
the new quays and custom-house at Cork has been chiefly raised. 
One of the proprietors, with much kindness, furnished me with lights 
and a very original personage named Larry to serve as a guide. 

The descent was difficult, through a narrow and steep crevice of 
the rock, and the footing extremely slippery. At the end of this 
passage was a perpendicular fall of about seven feet. My guide 
sprung nimbly down into the profundity of gloom that expanded 
before us, and I followed by throwing myself into his arms. Pro- 
ceeding a short distance, the cave became higher and more exten- 
sive, and we advanced some way, stepping from one large mass of 
stone to another, the bases of which were completely concealed by 
deep water. As our lights were, in many places, but sufficient to 
make " darkness visible,'' Larry, when I moved before him, repeat- 
edly begged " my honour not to be too bould/' We soon found 
ourselves in a chamber of considerable size, the roof of which seemed 
supported by a ponderous stalactical pillar, on a base proportionably 
massive, ornamented with clustering knobs of small stalactites that 
hung over each other like hands with the fingers spread out. Above, 
appeared gloomy galleries with entrances resembling rich Gothic 

K K 2 

252 CLOYNE. Chap. XIII. 

archways, but we were without the means of ascent, and consequently 
unable to- explore any of them. Whilst I was gazing upwards, my 
guide, with a true knowledge of effect, placed the lights on the 
opposite side of the central pillar to that on which I stood, leaving 
me in darkness, and illuminating half the chamber. Under this 
management, a projecting point of rock, without much effort of 
fancy, assumed tlie appearance of a colossal figure in repose, leaning 
on a club, that, to the vivid imagination, might seem the genius of 
the cave, slumbering in his favourite grotto of spar. 

We turned away into another part of the cave, adorned with fewer 
stalactites and somewhat circular in shape; nearly in the centre, a 
single stalactical column rose with an air of elegant lightness out of 
water, the cool and sparkling appearance of which can be assimilated 
only to liquid crystal. Having succeeded in crossing it, we ascended 
a kind of terrace, so smooth and level as almost to appear artificial, 
where lay two circular masses of spar resembling fragments of an 
enormous broken column ; from this terrace four or five passages 
struck off", but they were so full of deep water and so narrow that I 
did not venture down any of them. Larry, however, whilst I 
remained on the terrace, had penetrated some distance into the 
largest, and commenced whistling an old Irish ditty, the effect of 
which appeared to me where I stood, as if many flutes were playing 
in unison. My guide spoke of a passage into a large chamber which 
he called " the White Hall ;"' but it was so narrow, low and muddy, 
he recommended my not exploring it. On my return I passed near 
the entrance by which the cave had been formerly visited. It was, 
I understood, of such dimensions that a man on horseback might ride 
in some distance ; but the falling of a quantity of earth had closed 
up this mouth, and it was not without repeated efforts that we 
emerged from darkness into daylight. The cave of Carrig a crump 
is little known, even to those resident in its immediate vicinity; its 
extent is probably very great, yet few I believe have penetrated much 

Chap. XIII. 



farther than I did- A story is related, but with sUght claims to 
belief, of a trumpeter, belonging to a dragoon regiment quartered in 
Clojne, being left behind by a party of his comrades, with whom he 
had entered one of the passages in the Bishop's Meadow, and the 
next morning surprizing the labourers in Carrig a crump quarry by 
the sound of his bugle issuing from the crevices of the rock, to which 
instrument he was indebted for his preservation, as they immediately 
extricated him, after having travelled in his subterranean journey 
about a mile in a direct Hne. 

Throughout the whole of this district the limestone rock abounds 
with natural caverns, and, in 1805, a curious discovery was made 
not far from Castle Martyr by a quarry-man, in consequence of his 
crow-bar having accidentally fallen through a fissure of the rock ; he 
widened the aperture and descended in search of the instrument into a 
cavern, where he was not a little surprized to behold a human skeleton, 
partly covered with exceedingly thin plates of stamped or embossed 
gold, connected by bits of wire ; he also found ^■\ (x^^J^ 
several amber beads. The annexed sketch of | L ?% 
one of these gold plates is the same size as the 
original, which is in the possession of Mr. Lecky 
of Cork, with the fragments of a bead. The 
remainder of the gold was sold and melted in 
Cork and Youghall, and a jeweller who purchased 
the greater part told me the quantity he had 
melted — to use his own words — was " rather 
more than the contents of half a coal-box/' 

The bones of the skeleton were eagerly sought after by the super- 
stitious peasantry, as those of St-Colman,and carried away for charms: 
there is a tradition in the country, of a battle having been fought near 
this spot in a very remote period, and of four kings having fallen in 
the conflict. It is, perhaps, worth remarking, that the first account 

'254 CLOYNE. Chap. XIIL 

of this discovery appeared in the Moniteur of the 25th August, 1806, 
and was copied thence into the Irish provincial papers. 

Not far distant from Cloyne is Castle Mary — ^a seat belonging to 
the Longfield family : it was formerly called Carrig Cotta, supposed 
to be a corruption of Carrig Croith, or the Rock of the Sun, from a 
cromlech or Druidical altar, that is still to be seen not far from the 
house. This remain of paganism consists of a rough and massive 
stone, twelve feet in length : one end elevated about six feet from the 
ground, by two smaller stones, from which its name of Cromlech, 
signifying a bending or inclined stone, is derived. Close by it is a 
smaller stone or altar, supported in a similar diagonal position by a 
single stone. There is a tradition that nothing will grow under either 
of these altars, an opinion that originates from the total absence of 
verdure, incident to a want of sufficient light and air. The top of 
the larger altar was richly covered with the plant familiarly called the 
Wood Geranium, (Geranium Robertianum, or Robert's Crane's 
Bill,) the light feathery leaves and delicate pink blossoms of which, 
formed a pleasing contrast to the solemnity and breadth of the altar. 

The plantations of Castle Mary are venerable and extensive, 
arranged in the taste of the last century : few situations can be more 
imposing or romantic than that of the Druid's Altar, the descent to 
which is overshadowed by some luxuriant ash trees of singularly 
beautiful form and growth ; the gigantic size attained by some, sur- 
prizes the English traveller, and their long graceful branches, reaching 
to the ground, produce an effect not unlike the famed banyan groves 
of the east. Whilst Miss Nicholson was sketching the altar, a figure 
emerged from this depth of foliage, in costume, which, had it been a 
tint whiter, might well have passed for that of a Hindoo — but the 
innocent deception was soon destroyed by the irresistible accent in 
which the following exclamation was uttered, after coolly surveying 
that lady's work and the subject of it. 


Chap. XIIL CLOYNE. 255 

" Och! fatty and sure the darlint lady isn't putting down the ould 
stones— may be ! and as like as themselves it is, long life to her ! well to 
be sure, and a power of trouble to be taking — a wisha God help us!" 

Rostellan, the other principal seat in the neighbourhood of 
Cloyne, is that of the Marquis of Thomond, and commands a noble 
view of Cork Harbour, of which it forms part of the eastern shore. 
The present house is built upon the site of a castle of the Fitzgeralds, 
and contains a small armoury, " The sword of the great Brian Boru, 
my lord's ancestor, King of all Munster, your honour, and his fowl- 
ing'piecel are there to be seen," said one of the gate-keepers, who 
accompanied us through the grounds, and seemed anxious to display 
the wonders of the place to strangers.* This anachronism of assign- 
ing to an old musket a period of four or five centuries before its pro- 
bable construction,' is amusing enough, were it not so very common 
in Ireland;. for Fion Mac Cuil, (the Fingal of Ossian,) St. Patrick, 
and Brian Boru, are personages to whom anything ancient, wonderful 
or curious, is without hesitation referred. Queen Ann granted to 
one of the fonner Earls of Inchiquin, by letters-patent, dated 20th 
April, 1708, with many privileges, to the manor of Rostellan, a con- 
siderable portion of land adjoining, which his lordship had embanked 
from the tide. 

On a terrace close to the water is a statue of Lord Hawke, chiefly 
remarkable from its position, the admiral's face being turned away 
from the element on which he had acquired his fame ; Sir Richard 
Hoare, in his Irish Tour, relates the following anecdote as the cause : 

" Upon the defeat of the French fleet commanded by Conflans, 
in the year 1759, the city of Cork ordered a statue to be cast of the 
English admiral Hawke; but on its completion, some objections were 
made by the citizens, upon which the noble Inchiquin said, * that he 
would pay for it;' which he did, and, as a rebuke, placed the admi- 

* Fire-arms are stated to have been first brought into Ireland from Germany in 1489; 
six muskets being presented to the Earl of Kildare, which he gave to his guards. 

i56 CLOTNE. Chap. XIIL 

ral's figure on a pedestal with his back turned towards the ungrateful 
city. Mr. O'Brien/' continues Sir Richard, ^* told me a curious 
circumstance relating to this same statue, and which, in a less 
enlightened age than the present, might have been considered as 
ominous ; that the admiral's right arm which grasped a sword, fell 
off on the very day that the French landed on the coast of Ireland at 
Ban try Bay." 

The O'Briens are one of the few original Irish families, that a 
series of revolutions have not entirely deprived of possessions in their 
native country. Until the reign of Henry VIII., they were distin- 
guished as kings of Thomond, when the hereditary heir to the title, 
being a child, was dispossessed by his uncle Murrough, according to 
an ancient and barbarous Irish custom named Tannistry, a species 
of popular election of leaders or chiefs, that gave the right of posses- 
sion to the strongest; as a living poet has happily defined it: 

" the simple plao, 

That they should take, who had the power. 
And they should keep who can" — 

a custom finally abolished by James I., in 1605. From this event 
perhaps the present Irish motto of the O'Briens originates, literally in 
English, " The strong hand uppermost," which has been absurdly 
enough rendered *• Vigueur du dessus." 

King Murrough, feeling the insecurity of the title he had usurped, 
when his nephew Donough arrived at years of maturity, determined 
on surrendering it to the King of England, and of securing a lesser 
dignity, in which he was encouraged by the English governor of 
Ireland, who was anxious to destroy the feeling of monarchical inde- 
pendence. Murrough accordingly sailed for England, where he arrived 
on the 3d June, 1543, and waited upon Henry VIII. at his palace 
at Greenwich, to whom he formally resigned his pretensions to royalty, 
and received in lieu the title of Earl of Thomond for his own life, 

Chai*. XIII. CLOYNE. 257 

and Baron of Inchiquin for his descendants, by letters-patent dated 
the Ist July, following ; at the same time covenanting to assimilate to 
^English manners, to obey the English laws, and to cause his children 
to be instructed in the English language. Donough, the nephew of 
Murrough, was also created by Henry, to prevent any future disputes, 
Baron of Ibrackan for himself and male issue, and Earl of Thomond 
for life on the decease of his uncle. After some severe family feuds, 
which were suppressed by the interference of Lord Sussex, Donough, 
Baron of Ibrackan, succeeded his uncle as Earl of Thomond, and 
received a new patent of nobility from Edward VI., continuing the 
title of Thomond to his heirs, whilst that of Inchiquin remained to 
the descendants of his uncle. The illustrious actions and descent of 
the O'Briens have been a favourite theme with the bards of Ireland. 
At the commencement of the seventeenth century, most of the sena- 
chies in the kingdom were engaged in a poetical controversy 
respecting the claims to superiority between the great northern family 
of O'Neal and the great southern one of O'Brien, a subject on which 
several thousand verses were employed. These have been collected, 
and are termed by Irish scholars, " the Contention of the Bards f the 
contest arose out of a composition of Teige Mac Daire's, who was 
retained as poet by Donogh O'Brien, the fourth Earl of Thomond, 
and was answered by Louis O'Clery, poet to O'Neal. Rejoinder and 
reply almost innumerable ensued, and the majority of the bards of 
that period became involved in the dispute. 

The most prominent member of the O'Brien family in Irish history 
since the conquest by England, was Murrough, the sixth baron of 
Inchiquin; but he appears to have been so ambitious, selfish, and 
time-serving a character, that it is impossible either to admire him, or 
become interested in his fortunes. Lord Inchiquin married a daughter 
of Sir William St. Leger, the President of Munster, whose attach- 
ment to the unfortunate Charles I., and stability of principle, is a noble 
contrast to the veering conduct of Lord Inchiquin. On the death of 

L L 

258 CLOYNE. Chap. XIII. 

his father-in4aw, Lord Inchiquin, being disappointed in his expec- 
tations of succeeding to the presidency , declared for the parUamentary 
party, and accepted an important command under them, meanly 
endeavouring to conceal his mortification, and account for the change 
of his political creed, by a variety of insignificant excuses. 

From what can be collected. Lord Inchiquin's career during the 
civil war was intemperate in the highest degree, *^ not sparing his 
own kindred,'' says Ludlow, " but if he found them faulty,'* (that is, 
in arms for the cause he had abandoned,) ^^ hanging them up without 
distinction." His " memorable service" at Cashel partakes of the 
same spirit, where, regarding neither sex nor age, three thousand were 
put to the sword by his orders ; and the priests, literally torn from the 
altars of God, were butchered before them in the cathedral. Had 
Lord Inchiquin acted from the enthusiastic feeling of the times, his 
character would have retrieved itself on the page of history, for he 
was personally brave and frequently victorious ; but he seems to have 
studiously corrupted the well-incKned, and endeavoured to elevate 
himself by undermining the nobleness of others. 

The parhament of England, feehng that no dependence could be 
placed on such a man, voted him a traitor the 14th April, 1649: and 
Charles II., with a view of creating a revolution in his favour, imme- 
diately by letters from the Hague appointed him President of Mim- 
ster ; but the soldiers under his command, disgusted by the incon- 
sistency of his conduct, revolted. Lord Inchiquin, for safety, fled to 
France,, and was soon after raised by Charles to the dignity of an 
earl ; on whose restoration, when the claims of unbroken allegiance 
were unrewarded, the sum of 8000/. was bestowed on Lord Inchi- 
quin—" as a mark of his majesty's favourable and gracious conside- 
ration of his losses and sufierings." 



' O tract of tyme, that all consomes to dust. 

We bold thee not, for thou art bald bebinde : 
The fairest sword, or mettall, tbou wilt rust. 

And brightest things bring quickly out of nunde. 

The ttimmest towers, and castles great and gay 

In processe long at length thou doest decay : 

The bravest house, and princely buildings rare 

Thou wasts and weares and leaves the walles but bare.** 

Thonm Ckurciyar^s Worihmes of Wak». 

In the foregoing papers considerable space has been devoted to 
descriptions of such architectural antiquities as have come under my 
immediate observation. Monuments of former ages are identified 
with national history, and are objects, not only of interest but im- 
portance to every country, as the unquestionable and faithful record 
of the past. The character of nations and of governments lives in the 
edifices reared under them ; and had the annals of Egypt, of Greece, 
or of Rome descended to us without the glorious structures that still 
ennoble these fallen countries, how many casuists would have flung 
the odium of barbarism on their former population ! 

L l2 


The origin of the Irish round tower is involved in as profound 
obscurity as that of the Egyptian pyramids, and if the latter extra- 
ordinary monuments excite our curiosity in a country where the same 
gigantic taste pervaded every work of sculpture as well as architec- 
ture, how much more impressive is. this soUtary remain, that stands 

" Sublime and sad, 
Bearbg the weight of years !" 

A recent writer on the subject, warmed into enthusiastic declama- 
tion, apostrophises — '^ The unrivalled pillar tower in all its primitive 
beauty, venerated, undisturbed, and, after a reign of fourteen hundred 
years, still the pride and the ornament of modem, as it heretofore 
had been of ancient Ireland/' 

Beside these buildings, of which more than fifty are at present 
standing, none others in Ireland deserve notice as works of art, the 
date of whose formation is not known. On the Round Tower, there- 
fore, rests the only proof of the skill and knowledge of the early in- 
habitants of Ireland : ponderous masses of uncouth stones, tumuli 
and mounds being works equally common to the rude state of other 

The vulgar belief that these pillar towers were the produce of 
supernatural agency has been already mentioned. " Travellers into 
the east,'' says Sir Joshua Reynolds in his Discourses, " tell us that 
when the ignorant inhabitants of these countries are interrogated 
concerning the ruins of stately edifices yet remaining amongst them, 
the melancholy monuments of their former grandeur and long lost 
science, they always answer that they were built by magicians. The 
untaught mind finds a vast gulph between its own powers and those 
works of complicated art, which it is utterly unable to fathom, and 
it supposes that such a void can only be passed by supernatural 


The conjectures offered as to the use of the Round Tower are at 
once numerous and unsatisfactory.* By some they are supposed to 
have been the abodes of solitary anchorites; by others, to have con- 
tained the sacred fire worshipped before the Christian era; some, 
again, maintain that they were places of temporary penance, and 
others state them to have been belfries; nor does any pecuKarity of 
situation, except the vicinity of a church, assist the antiquary in his 
inquiry. It may be tiresome, and would answer little purpose, to 
recapitulate the various arguments produced in favour of these several 
opinions, but the latter, that of their being belfries, is the one com- 
monly received. 

It is needless also to enter into particular descriptions, as the 
drawings and measurement of those at Cloy ne and Ardmore convey 
a general idea of Irish round towers, and embrace the most remark- 
able difference between them, that of circular stone belts, which are 
rather unusual. All that seems certain about these buildings is, their 
existence before the invasion of the Enghsh in the time of Henry II. 
as Giraldus Cambrensis expressly mentions '^ turres ecclesiastical, 
quae more patrio arctae simt et altae necnon et rotundae.'' From their 
very great similarity it is evident that they were the work of the 
same age and the same people, and they have been attributed to. the 
missionaries who first introduced Christianity into Ireland. There 
are many almost conclusive arguments in favour of this conjecture; 
one, however, which I have not heard, is, that every round tower has 

* Mr. W of the Ordnance, whilst on an official tour of inspection in Ireland, seeing 

a labourer near one of the Martello towers on the coast, carelessly asked him if he knew 
for what purpose it was built .^t-" To be sure I do, your honour," replied he archly; " for 
the same purpose as our ould ancient round towers/' *' And pray what may that have 

been?** inquired Mr. W in the belief of receivmg some traditional information. 

'* Why, your worship," returned Pat, " the only use in them that I can see is just to bother 
posterity /^^ 


its patron saint, whose legendary fame still survives in the surrounding 
districts as well as in old chronicles : St. Colman and St Declan are 
the tutelary guardians of those at Cloyne and Ardmore. 

After the round towers should be noticed the oratories, or stone- 
roofed chapels, so often to be found near them. These are very 
small heavy buildings, with wedge-like shaped roofs of stone, of 
which the one at Killaloe affords a characteristic specimen. 

When King Henry II. visited Dubhn in 117 1> we are told by his* 
torians that there was no house there capable of containing that 
monarches retinue ; " and therefore," to use the words of Sir Bichard 
Cox, ^^ he was necessitated to build a long cabin with smoothed 
wattles after the fashion of the country, and almost in the nature of 
a tent, which (being well furnished with plate, household stuff and good 
cheer) made a better appearance than ever had been seen in Ireland 
before that time, and accordingly it was admired and applauded by 
the Irish potentates, who flocked thither to pay their duty to the king.^' 

Having such models as the round tower, it is evident that the 
want of stone buildings in Ireland cannot be ascribed to igno« 
ranee. Sir John Davies appears to point at the real cause in the 
customs of tannistry and gavelkind, both of which rendered the 
inheritance and division of property a matter of much uncertainty, 
and the cause of frequent disputes. It was certainly, remarks that 
writer, ^^ against all common sense and reason" to expect any itian 
^^ would plant, or improve, or build upon that land which a stranger 
whom he knew not should possess after his death." 
. The EiigUsh adventurers seem, immediately after their landing, to 
have built castles for their defence and the protection of the districts 
they had overcome, there being few if any fortifications in the country 
the work of the Irish. The towns of Dublin, Cork and Waterford 
were walled, and probably founded by the Danes. The Irish appear 
to have been the inhabitants of forests and of mountains, where they 

Chap^XIV. ancient buildings. 263 

dwelt in a kind of savage freedom, despising restraint, from their 
ignorance of its advantage. 

When Sir John De Courcy, one of the first Enghsh settlers who 
built many castles in the north of Ireland, gave two of them as a 
mark of friendship to Mac Mahon, a native chieftain, the latter 
almost immediately destroyed these buildings, declaring that he 
valued not stones like land, and that it was contrary to his nature 
to live within cold walls whilst the green woods were within his 
reach. Story mentions that the first castle ever built in Ireland, 
** as to any pile of lime and stone,'' was at Tuam, in the year II6I, 
by Roderick O'Connor, which was called, on account of its rarity, 
" Castrum Mirificum/' So long after this as 1584, Stanihurst tells 
us that such of the Irish chieftains as possessed castles annexed to 
them a large mud cabin, in which they dwelt, only retreating to the 
castle at night for security. To the present day the same feeling 
exists; and it is no uncommon circumstance for a peasant, on a 
principle of comfort, to strip the slates off the cottage of which he 
has become the tenant and replace them with thatch, alleging as 
his reason ^^ the couldness of the slates," though most probably, owing 
to his slovenly method of thatching, the wind and rain are admitted 
through numerous crevices. To an English observer this practice 
must appear absurd — but it is nevertheless characteristic. 

" The fern forms and fem tables" of O'Neil, spread under the 
stately canopy of heaven, are mentioned by Sir John Harrington, 
who wrote about fifteen years after Stanihurst. 

Dr. Smith, in his History of Cork, gives an inscription discovered 
on a chimney-piece in throwing down some old walls at Castle Lyons. 
« Lehan O'Cullane Hoc fecit MCIIII." This has been repeatedly 
produced as proof that stone dwellings were used by the Irish in the 
twelfth century ; but the inscription on which an assertion so impor- 
tant has been grounded appears to me either to have been inaccu- 
rately copied, the C being substituted for D, or that letter having 


been reversed in the original, thus Q, and the perpendicular line 
defaced, as neither the style nor expression of this legend belongs to 
the period to which Dr. Smith would refer it ; had it been engraven 
at that time, the characters (waving the probability of the inscription 
being in Irish) could not have been deciphered with so much facility 
by the Doctor ; and if the reading of 1504 be admitted it will be 
found in accordance with the taste and manner of that age. 

From the landing of the English, down to the time of Elizabeth, 
castles rapidly multipUed in Ireland — ^the English settlers gradually 
connected themselves with the natives and assimilated to most of 
their habits ; but the Irish seem to have availed themselves of the 
English mode of defence, and at every opportunity to have destroyed 
or possessed themselves 'of the castles and fortifications formed by 
the English colonists, whom they regarded as invaders, and from 
whose dominion they sought, by a series of insurrections, to emanci- 
pate themselves. 

. In 1438 an act was passed directing the inclosure of all towns and 
villages within the Pale, as a protection against the frequent attacks 
of the Irish. 

The achievements of Thomas O'Reilly, a native chieftain, who 
ruined no less than eighteen castles belonging to the English, are 
celebrated in some Irish verses still extant, commencing " The wail- 
ing of the English mourner over the losses of Englishmen is a sound 
that I lament not.'' And when the town of Athenry in the county 
Galway was burned by a party of Irish in the reign of Elizabeth, 
whose fury spared not even the church, the leader, on being told 
that this building contained the bones of his mother, ferociously 
replied, " I care not-r-were she alive I would sooner bum her and it 
together than that any English churl should fortify there." It was 
even proposed in the parliament assembled at Dublin by James II. 
during his last struggle for the crown of England, and the motion is 
upon record, " that all the fine houses and every thing that looked 


like improvement should be destroyed/^ that Ireland might thus seeni 
a country unworthy of conquest. Notwithstanding this system of 
destruction, every de61e became protected and every important 
position occupied by towers that, in a time when the art of gunnery 
was imperfectly understood, appeared to present impregnable barriers: 
These fortresses, though numerous, were inconsiderable, and few of 
them now deserve notice except as picturesque and romantic objects; 

From some elevated stations the ruins of so many as ten or twelve 
castles may be often comprehended in the same viewl When one 
of these towers is within sight of another, the peasant who follows 
the visitor usually relates a traditionary anecdote of their being built 
by two sisters who held a kind of telegraphic communication. Dean 
Story has recorded the legend with great minuteness : " they say,^* 
writes that author, " in former times two Brehons, or Irish judges, 
lived in those two castles, who happened at last to have some disputes 
about their properties, and their wives, though they were sisters, used 
to stand upon the battlements of their own houses and scold at one 
another for several hours together : which at length one of them 
being weary of, she found out a trick only to appear and begin the 
fray, then she would place an image that she had dressed up in her 
own clothes in such a posture as her sister could not discern it from 
herself at that distance, who not sensible of the cheat, used to scold 
on, and at last fretted herself to death because she could not be 
answered in her own language. — But I am afraid," adds the Dean, 
" the women in this country will scarce pardon this story.'' 

Throughout the majority of Irish castles there is the same uni- 
formity of plan ; their extent seldom exceeded a single square tower 
of three or four stories, the confined and gloomy chambers of which 
were lighted through a massive wall by narrow loop holes. An in- 
trenched or walled plot of ground called the bawn surrounded or 
adjoined the tower, into which the cattle were driven at night to 

M M 


Secure them from wolves, or the almost as rapacious neighbouring 
chieftains. The bawn also a£forded protection, in times of danger, to 
the followers of the owner of the castle ; and, in the internal feuds 
which continuallj harassed and distracted Ireland, when one chief 
invaded or appeared with a hostile disposition on the possessions of 
another, the clan immediately fled with their cattle to the bawn of 
their lord's casde for refuge. 

" By force not law men held uncertain wealth. 
And neighbouring chiefs for plunder or for pride. 
Their vassals mustering on each other's powers. 
Waged petty war ! Hence all those tall remains 
Of former strength that mid our Terdant fieMs 
Stand venerable !" 

In the square tower, tradition points out, and probably with cor- 
rectness, the upper story as the best or state apartment ; for each 
story seldom contained more than one room, having, in the thickness 
of the wall, recesses for sleeping in. 

Such were the dwellings of the leading men of Ireland for nearly 
four centuries, many of which were attacked and ruined during the 
turbulent reign of Elizabeth.* The fact that the massive walls of 
a dismal tower afforded but feeble protection against an enemy 
before whose cannon the embattled keep crumbled into ruins, seems 
to have given rise to a new species of national architecture, mo- 
delled upon the ancient EngUsh manor-house, retaining, however, 
the same solidity of style as these castles, which, about the year 
1600, began to be disused, from the faith in their security being 

* The Pacata Hibemia contains views of the principal towns and castles m the south 
of Ireland at the close of Elizabeth's reign ; but they are such unskilful draughts as to afford 
little information to the architect, and even less pleasure to the artist; neither can these 
distorted representations appear satisfactory to the eye of the most zealous antiquary. 



destroyed. Of the tBste at this period the town of Kilinallock is 
perhaps the finest specimen in Ireland, that town 

«« most fayre, that long a building was, 

Where now, God wot, there growes nothing but grasse. 
The stones lye waste, the walles seeme but a shell 
Of little worth, where once a prince might dwell." 

Scattered through the south of Ireland the walls of these castel- 
lated houses, or courts as they are sometimes called, may be seen 
in the proportion to the single tower of one to four, the command- 
ing situations selected for which still implied a feeling of insecurity. 
Their most peculiar feature is a large marble chimney piece, about 
twelve feet in height and ten in breadth, well carved, and generally 
bearing the date of the building and initials of the builder's name, 
the family arms and a religious or historical inscription. These 
houses gave place, in the reign of WiUiam III., to the heavy red 
brick mansion, with its avenues of venerable trees, which is now the 
hospitable abode of the resident landholder, or the forsaken and 
neglected patrimony of the absentee. 

So numerous are abandoned edifices in Ireland, that they keep alive 
a train of melancholy ideas in the mind of the traveller. They who 
reared these piles and filled their rooms with mirth, who gave plenty 
and employment to the poor, are now in their tombs; and their living 
successors, dead to their patriotism, dwell in other lands, and leave 
the home of their ancestors a wilderness, where long rows of majestic 
oak and elm appear destined only for the axe. Every one must 
wish such absentees could be made to reside in their own country — 
to enrich it with their fortunes, ornament it with their taste, improve 
the morals of the people by their example, refine them by their 
politeness, and protect them by their authority — ^then might we hope 
to see the laws respected, the rich beloved, and Ireland tranquil and 

* " The absentees of Ireland," says a writer in the Anthologia Hibemica, '* have been 

M M 2 


The monastic buildings of Ireland, to those accustomed to the 
magnificence of similar continental or English works, are coarse and 
meagre, and in their style set classification completely at defiance. 
Every architect seems to have pursued his own taste rather than that 
of any particular period, and in some instances to have built in op- 
position to every thing approaching to system. The manner of 
masonry followed in most of the old religious houses is accurately 
described in Mr. Townshend's Statistical Survey of the County of 
Cork, and I cannot do better than quote the words of that gentleman. 

" Each wall is composed of a double range of large stones, having 
one fair or flat side, which, being brought to the face of the wall both 
within and without, gives it at a little distance the appearance of being 
built with hewn stone. In other respects, the stones are of an 
unfavourable shape for laying, being of a lumpish and irregular form, 
except on the flat side. As none of them reach far into the wall, or 
have what masons call a good bed, it was necessary to its durability 
that they should be well cemented ; this was effectttally done by 
means of a very strong mortar, composed of small stones, gravel and 
lime, with which the central part of the wall is filled.'' The same 
kind of masonry is found in many of the old castles, and, when the 
thickness of the wall was considerable, the centre was merely filled 
by small rubbish stones thrown loosely between the crevices. 

The number of monastic foundations in Ireland, including 
hospitals, friaries and chantries, may be estimated at about 1500 ; the 
ruins of between seven and eight hundred of which are still in exist- 
ance. Both hospitals and friaries were simple, heavy buildings, 

in every age its greatest enemies." An ordinance of Edward III. 1368, states that by their 
dereliction the country was spoiled, that — " pluseures seigneuries et terres illoeques par noz 
ditz progeintours feurent donez & grantez a divers seigneurs et auters persones noz-foialt 
Dengleterre, qi tieur guerdons avoient par leur continuele demoeure sur leur dites sei- 
gneuries purreit sauvement estre defenduz a touz jours : et consent de long temps ont pris 
les issues et profitz sans defens ou garde covenable y mettre, siqe par leur defaute et noun 
chaler sont les ditz mals avenuz en perdition de la dite terre, 8cc/* 


without ornament or embellishment of any kind. The former were 
houses under the direction of monks of the order of St. Augustine, 
and, as their name implies, were intended as retreats for the indigent 
and impotent Many buildings of this description were devoted 
solely to the reception of lepers, and fell into disuse and ruin on 
the disappearance of leprosy in the country.* 

The old name of Castle Martyr, a village in the county Cork, was 
Leper's Town, and in particular the province of Munster is stated to 
have formerly abounded with persons aflBicted by this loathsome 
disease. Dr. Boate, in his Natural History of Ireland, attributes the 
miserable state of leprosy that prevailed in Munster, to " the foul 
gluttony of the inhabitants in the devouring of unwholesome salmons/' 
and accounts for its suppression by the strict observance of severe 
laws made by the English, against taking that fish during the 
spawning season. Some authors have ascribed so severe a national 
affliction to the almost raw state in which the Irish used to eat their 
animal food. 

-" 'Twas blood-raw meat 

Which they for constant food did eat, 
Affirming that all meat was spoil'd. 
That either roasted was, or boil'd !" 

It is also known, that pork induces cutaneous diseases, and of this 
meat, it appears from many writers, the Irish possessed abundance 
and were insatiably fond. An anecdote is related of a guest of 
O'Neirs, who asked one of that chieftain's attendants whether veal 
was not more delicate than pork — ^The reply was, " that question is, 
as if you asked me, am I more noble than O'Neil V 

, * The Blue Coat Hospital in the city of Cork, a public charity for the education and 
care of poor children, is built on the site of a leper house that was dedicated to St. Ste- 
phen. It was founded about the year 1250, and becoming vacant in 1408, was granted 
by Henry IV. to Henry Fygham for life, and afterwards re-granted to another of the same 
family ; on its final suppression in 1674, it was given to the city of Cork. 


Friaries were the dwellings of mendicants, and had seldom any 
endowment; notwithstanding which, they were respectably supported 
by the ingenuity of the fraternity. An instance of this occurs in a 
memorial from some Irish friars to the Pretender, beseeching his 
majesty to pay a debt of a thousand crowns due by their order ; and, 
to enforce their request, they add, '^ when that sum is paid, we will 
then be in a condition to pray more devoutly — more fervently — and 
more effectually for your majesty's restoration and welfare.'* It may 
not be irrelevant to add, that, as a piece of policy, the money was 
paid by the Stuarts, and it is evident their cause derived considerable 
support from such agency. 

Chantries were shrines or little chapels, attached to larger build- 
ings, or standing unconnected and alone ; they were founded and 
endowed by the opulent for the maintenance of a priest, to perform 
masses for the benefit of the founder's soul ; and hence their name, 
from the chaunting of the ceremony. 

The old parochial chapels should not be forgotten in enumerating 
the buildings of Ireland ; the roofless walls and gable ends of which 
are very generally to be seen, 

" the grandeur-loving ivy wound* 

In folds of never-fading green around. 
Preserving the rude mass it crowns." — 

The diniensions of these chapels are extremely confined; the 
measurement of one at Rathcooney near Glenmire will serve as an 
example. It is forty-two feet in length, and twenty-one in breadth, 
and has, beside that at the east end, two small and narrow windows 
on the south, and one on the north side: some chapels are of 
still lesser dimensions. In the thickness of the wall on the right 
hand side of the altar is commonly a hollow space, three or four 
feet square, about eighteen or twenty inches in depth, where the 


priest's vestments, the mass books and the holy chalicQ were depo* 
sited. N^ 

The Rock of Cashel and the Abbey of Holy Cross, both in the 
county Tipperary, are said to be the finest architectural remains in 
the south of Ireland. The former I have visited, but, as it is many 
years since, and my examination was hurried, I am not enabled to 
speak of it with as much precision as I could wish. As far as my 
recollection serves, it is the most extensive building with any claim to 
antiquity that I have seen in Ireland. Seated on a rocky eminence 
close to the town of Cashel, this venerable pile is supposed to have 
been at once a regal and monastic edifice, and from the want of regu- 
larity in plan, as well as peculiarities in the manner of ornamenting 
and style of workmanship, appears to have been the work of several 
different periods. 

The form of the main body, like that of most cathedrals, is a cross ; 
its extreme length from west to east about two hundred feet, joining 
the eastern angle of the north transept is a round tower, similar to 
those usually found detached, and evidently constructed at a much 
earlier date than most other parts of the building with which it is' 
connected. The entrance to this tower is by a long gallery or pas- 
sage in the wall of the transept, about twenty feet above the ground. 
On the opposite side, sheltered under the other transept or arm of 
the cross, and at an angle with the choir and chancel, is Cormac's 
chapel, " itself an host,*' to use the expression of Sir Richard Hoare, 
in point of remote and singular antiquity. Semi-circular arches 
ornamented with an abundance of carving, and small, heavy, cir- 
cular columns form the peculiarities of Cormac's chapel, the interior 
of which is in excellent preservation, being protected from exposure 
to the weather by its stone roof. I know not where to refer the 
reader for an accurate and satisfectory account of the Rock of Cashed 
although there are few writers on Irish history, topography, or an- 
tiquity, by whom it is not frequently mentioned. 


• The " right famous" abbey of Holy Cross, as Camden calls it, is 
so minutely described in a letter addressed to me by a friend whose 
general correctness may be depended on, that I transcribe his words, 
as the best description I am acquainted with. 

" The main body of Holy Cross Abbey is still in tolerable preser- 
vation, its tower forming a fine centre. To the right of the ancient 
entrance were the cloisters, of which no vestiges are visible, except 
two rows of cells ; the ground once occupied by them is now planted 
with potatoes, which an old woman, 

^' The 8kd historian of the pensive place/' 

with the usual ignorance of such persons, points out as having been 
the monks' flower-garden. 

"Beyond the cloisters were various other buildings, the naked walls 
of which remain, but the rain prevented our ascertaining their former 
destinations. To the left are also considerable ruins, which we were 
equally unable to visit. The extreme length of the Abbey church is 
about one hundred and sixty-two feet, and that of the transepts 
eighty-seven feet.* The nave has four arches on each side, which were 
originally built sharp pointed and then rounded. The roof of the 
transepts and the four chapels oflf them is still perfect, and formed 
by Gothic arches resting on corbels, with from seven to eleven cross- 
springers or ribs. 

" Unaccustomed to any thing of the kind, Irish visitors look up to 
this roof as the perfection of architecture ; but to the Enghsh traveller 
it will appear clumsy, and, from the want of ornament, comparatively 
poor. The cross-springers in the north transept indeed are curious, 
having a prickly surface like the stem of a briar. Possibly this part 
was consecrated to some peculiar commemoration of our Saviour's 
passion. The east window is very fine and remains in good preser- 

* If the scale given with the ground-plan of Holy Cross in Grose's Antiquities of Ire- 
land be correct, my friend must have been considerably mistaken in his measurements. 


vatiorn. Not far from the altar against the south wall is a tomb 
profusely ornamented, above and below, with rich tabernacle work 
coarsely executed. Beneath thfe, the bones of the founder, Donald 
or Donough O'Brien, king of Limerick, are said to rest. 

" The division between the small chapels on the south side of the 
choir is by a double row of pillars, forming a kind of open tomb, 
called the Priest's Wake, from a tradition that the coffins of the 
clergy remained in it the night previous to interment, which is not 
improbable. ' From hence we ascended by a narrow staircase to the 
apartments over the chapels, to' which various, and possibly very 
erroneous names are now attached, and with some difficulty we made 
our way to the top of the tower. It commands an extensive and 
beautiful prospect, including the Rock of Cashel, distant about 
twelve miles. But the stormy sky cautioned us to seek for shelter, 
and we had scarcely reached the choir when the storm was renewed 
with increased violence. The old woman, our guide, crouched on 
a low tomb to tell her beads, and my companion and I were left to 
our silent meditations. The rain poured down in torrents, rattling 
over our heads, beating and splashing against the walls in front, and 
streaming from oflf them and the flat grave-stones which covered the 
whole surface of the abbey; while the wind in furious gusts drove it 
in clouds of mist through the open tracery of the chapel window upon 
us; and the slow, harsh, hollow creaking of the boughs of the old trees 
was an accompaniment in unison with the dreary and melancholy 
scene around us."' 

In closing these remarks on the ancient buildings of Ireland, it is 
scarcely necessary to observe, that, notwithstanding their number, 
little exists to reward the inquiry of the architect. The agitated 
state of the country for a series of ages may be read in the works of 
defence with which Ireland is said to have been " sown,^' and this 
very circumstance appears to be a fair reason why so little attention 
was paid to architectural embellishment. The irregularity observable 

N N 


in the ancient ecclesiastical edifices may be attributed to the same 
cause ; as it is highly probable, that the unsettled state of the times 
produced continual interruptions to the execution of any extensive 
works, and that they were performed at various periods and by dif- 
ferent hands, the architects building according to their own plan, 
instead of falling into that of their predecessor ; this appears to be 
the only mode of reconciUng the wild and whimsical varieties of 
style that are to be found. Moorish and Grecian, Saxon and Gothic 
pe'culiarities are sometimes jumbled in the strangest combinations, 
and with the most singular effect. To a mind schooled in the know- 
ledge of orders and the classification of relative ages, such associa- 
tions are frequently very ludicrous, as much so as the appearance at 
the present day of a school-boy with 

'' A wisdom-giving wig — ^from barber bought 
Forjudge'* — 

or of a grave prelate in the cap and coat of a Christ's Hospital scho- 



** The river side I choose 

And all its mazes^ from the secret spring 
Along the grassy hank and shrahhy houme 
By clifiF and crag^ to where the freighted harque 
Hides fearless." 

Millikm'i Rher Side. 

A PILGRIMAGE to the source of the River Lee is one frequently 
performed by two very diflferent classes of persons, the superstitious 
and the curious ; the first led by a traditional sanctity attached to the 
place, the latter by the reputed subUmity of its scenery, and a desire 
of witnessing the religious assemblies and ceremonies of the pea- 

This river, the Luvius of Ptolemy, has its origin thirty-three miles 
west of Cork, in a lake called Gougaun Barra, in English, Barry's 
Hermitage; St. Fineen Bar, or Barry, having, it is said, lived a 
recluse here, before he founded the cathedral of Cork. A popular 
legend ascribes the foundation of that building to the following 
circumstance : St. Patrick, at his general banishment of all venemous 
creatures out of Ireland, forgot an enormous monster described as a v^/fd / A'^ / ;^ 

""^ /ho.-/.,! 6.. 



7) r*;/' 


276 THE BIVER LEE. Chap, XV. 

dragon or winged serpent, which wasted the surrounding country, 
and power was deputed to a holy man named Fineen Bar, to drown 
this monster in Gougaun Lake, on the condition of his erecting a 
church where its waters met the tide; and the saint, having de- 
stroyed the monster, fulfilled the agreement by founding the present 
cathedral of Cork. 

The scenery of Gougaun Lake is bold and rugged, yet will 
scarcely afford the artist a suitable return for the labour of his journey. 
Surrounded by rocky and barren mountains, which rise with an air 
of desolate grandeur above the lake, in its centre is a small and 
solitary island, connected with the shore by a narrow artificial cause- 
way, constructed to facilitate the rites of religious devotees, who 
annually flock thither on the 24th of June, (St. John's day,) to the 
celebration of a pious festival. 

On this island, shaded by a few fine trees, some old walls may be 
seen, chiefly the work of an ascetic named O'Mahony, who retired 
from the world, and dwelt a recluse here for eight-and-twenty years, 
and who lies buried under a little arched recess on the shore of the 

Smith, in his History of Cork, mentions an inscription on this 
tomb, which I copy from that author, but could not discover the 

*' Hoc sibi et successoribus suis in e&dem vocatione inonumeutum imposuit dominus 
Doctor Dyonisitts O'Mahony presbyter licet indignus. An. Dom. 1700." 

The principal building on the island is a rudely formed circular 
wall of considerable solidity, in the thickness of which are nine 
arched recesses or cells, called chiapels, severally dedicated to parti- 
cular saints, with a plain flag stone set up in each as an altar. 

In the centre of this enclosure, on a grassy elevation, that appears 
to have been formerly surrounded by stone steps, stands a wooden 
pole, the upright remains of a large cross, braced with many pieces 

Chaf. XV. THE BIVBR LEE. 277 

of iron^ Hundreds of votive rags and bandages are nailed against 
it, and hung upon it, by those whose faith has made them whole, 
intended as acknowledgments of their cure. Also the spancels of 
cattle that have been driven through the lake, as a preventive 
against the murrain. 

Without this circular wall are the ruins of Father O'Mahon/s 
dweUing; the gable ends and tottering chimneys still remain, covered 
with stonecrop, a variety of rich lichens, and that hardy little plant 
the London pride, which is here indigenous, and seems to grow 
more luxuriantly in the crevices and upon the naked rocks about 
Gougaun Lake, than when cultivated in a garden. The digitalis 
also flourishes profusely on the neighbouring mountains. 

My first visit to Gougaun Lake was on the 23d of June, 1813, 
the eve of St. John. Feeling a strong wish to be present at the cele- 
bration of an Irish patron, or religious meeting in remembrance of 
a particular saint — a mere boy at the time, I had toiled through a 
long and an arduous walk in company with one whose pen would 
more ably than mine have done justice to the scene. 

For the last three miles, our road, or rather path, was up the side 
of steep accUvities, thence upon ranges of stone steps, over dreary 
mountainous swamps, and we were frequently obliged to quit the 
common track, in order to seek amongst the rushes for more secure 
footing. Large blocks of schistus rock lay scattered around, many 
of which at a little distance appeared like vast ruins; nor was there 
one tree or bush within view to destroy the appearance of entire neglect 
and desolation. After a walk of about seven Irish miles from the 
village of Inchegeela, we gained the brow of a mountain, and beheld 
the Lake of Gougaun with its little wooded island beneath us; one 
spot on its shore, swarming with people, appeared, from our elevated 
situation, to be a dark mass surrounded by moving specks, which 
continually merged into it. On our descent we caught the distant 
and indistinct murmur of the multitude; and as we approached and 

878 THE RIVER LEE; Ghap. XV^ 

forded the' eastern extremity of the lake, where its waters discharge 
themselves through a narrow and precipitous channel, an unseemly 
uproar burst upon us, though at a distance of nearly half a mile from 
the assembly. It was not without diflSculty that we forced our way 
through the crowd on the shore of the lake, to the wall of the chapels 
on the island, where we stood amid an immense concourse of people : 
the interior of the cells were filled with men and women in various 
acts of devotion, almost all of them on their knees; some, with hands 
uplifted, prayed in loud voices, using considerable gesticulation, and 
others, in a less noisy manner, rapidly counted the beads of their 
rosary, or, as it is called by the Irish peasant, their pathereen, with 
much apparent fervour; or, as a substitute for beads, threw from one 
hand into the other, small pebbles to mark the number of prayers 
they had repeated; whilst such of the men as were not furnished 
with other means kept their reckoning by cutting a notch on their 
cudgel, or on a piece of stick provided for the purpose. 

To a piece of rusty iron, shaped thus, con- 
siderable importance seems to have been attached; 
it passed from one devotee to another with much 
ceremony. The form consisted in placing it three 
times, with a short prayer, across the head of the 
nearest person, to whom it was then handed, and 
who went through the same ceremony with the 
next to him, and thus it circulated from one to 
the other. 

The crowd in the chapels every moment increasing, it became a 
matter of labour to force our way towards the shore, through the 
throng that covered the causeway. Adjoining the causeway, part of 
the water of the lake was inclosed and covered in as a well, by which 
name it was distinguished* On gaining the back of the well we ob- 
servBd a ma,n, apparently of the mendicant order, describing, on a 
particular stone in its wall, the figure of a cross, with small pieces of 

Chap. XV. THE EIVER LEB. 279 

slate, which he afterwards sold to such devotees as were desirous of 
possessing these relics.* 

The number of slates thus treated at various periods, had worn in 
the stone to which they were applied a cross nearly two inches in 
depth, and which every new sign served to deepen. The door or 
opening to the front of the well was so narrow as scarcely to admit 
two persons at the same time. Within, the well was crowded to 
excess, probably seven or eight persons, some with their arms, some 
with their legs thrust down into the water, exhibiting the most dis<* 
gusting sores and shocking infirmities. When those within came 
out, their places were as instantly filled by others. Some there were 
who had waited two or three hours before they could obtain access 
to this " healing fount."" The blind, the cripple, and the infirm jostled 
and retarded each other in their efforts to approach ; whilst women 
and boys forced their way about, offering the polluted water of the 
well for sale> in little glass bottles, the bottom of broken jugs and 
scallop shells, to those whose strength did not permit them to gain 
this sacred spot. The water so offered was eagerly purchased, in 

* Small printed Prayers were also sold at these meetings ; one which I purchased is 
copied verbatim. 


" COFY rf a FRAYEK to he $md at the WELL of ST. JOHN'S. 

" O Almighty God, as I have undertaken this journey by way of Pilgrimage in and 
through a penitential spirit, in the first place, I hope to render myself worthy of the 
favor I mean to ask, to avoid drunkenness, and licentiousness, and hope to find favor in 
thy sight. I therefore pay this tribute and fulfil the promise 1 have made, I ask you, 
therefore, thro' the intercession of Saint John, to grant me the following favor — (here 
mention your ailment, the particular favor you stand in need of) — I know how unworthy 
I am of being heard, but I resolve, with thy gracious assistance, henceforward to render 
myself worthy of your favor, I implore this gift, through the mtercession of St John, and 
the sufierings of Christ our Lord. Amen. 

'' N. B. You must be careful to avoid all excess in drinking — dancing in tents-7for it 
is impossible characters can find favor in the sight of God, such as these.— Fasting going 
there had formerly been the custom." 

280 THE RIVEB lee; Chap. XV. 

some instances applied to the diseased part, and in others drank with' 
the eagerness of enthusiasm. In the crowd, mothers stood with their 
naked children in their arms, anxiously waiting the moment when an 
opening might allow them to plunge their struggling and shrieking 
infants into the waters of the well. Were this all, I could have 
beheld the assembly with feelings of devotion mixed with regret at 
their infatuation and delusion; but drunken men and the most 
depraved women mingled with those whose ideas of piety brought 
them to this spot; and a confused uproar of prayers and oaths, of 
sanctity and blasphemy sounded in the same instant on the ear. 

We left this scene, so calculated to excite compassion and horror, 
and turned towards the banks of the lake, where whiskey, porter, 
bread and salmon were sold in booths or tents resembling a gipsy 
encampment, and formed by means of poles or branches of trees 
meeting at angles, over which were thrown the proprietor's great 
coat, his wife's cloak, old blankets, quilts, and occasionally a litde 
straw. Above the entrance of each was suspended the name of the 
owqer, if he happened to possess a license ; when this was not the 
case, a jug, a bottle, or pipe were displayed to indicate that spirits 
and porter might be had within, and not unfrequeritly were added a 
piece of ribbon, and an old shoe, the first to distinguish some popular 
party, the latter emblematic of dancing, to which amusement the 
lower orders of Irish are immoderately attached. 

Almost every tent had its piper, and two or three young men' 
and women dancing the jig, or a peculiar kind of dance, called the 
rinkafadah, which consists of movements by no means graceless or 
inelegant. The women invariably selected their partners, and went 
up to the man of their choice, to whom they freely presented their 
hand. After the dance was concluded, the men dropped a penny 
each, or, such as were inclined to display their liberality, something 
more, into an old hat which lay at the piper's feet, or in a hollow; 
made in the ground for the purpose. The piper, \rhQ seldom makes. 

Chap. XV. THE RIVER LEE. 281 

a moment's pause, continues playing, and another dance immediately 
commences. I recollect having seen, in Cork, a painting by Grogan, 
(a native artist,) of the breaking up of an Irish fair, in which he has 
happily expressed the ceaseless motion of the musician's fingers on 
such occasions by the introduction of a man holding a jug of porter 
to the piper's lips, which he drinks without interruption to the 



The tents are generally so crowded that the dancers have scarcely 
room for their performance : from twenty to thirty men and women 
are often huddled together in each, and the circulation of porter and 
whiskey amongst the various groups is soon evident in its effects- 
All become actors, — none spectators, — rebellious songs, in the Irish 
language, are loudly vociferated, and received with yells of applause : 
towards evening the tumult increases, and intoxication becomes 
almost universal. Cudgels are brandished, the shrieks of women and 
the piercing cry of children thrill painfully upon the ear in the riot 
and uproar of the scene; indeed the distraction and tumult of a 
patron cannot be described. At midnight the assembly became 
somewhat less noisy and confused, butthe chapels were still crowded : 
on the shore, people lay " heads and points" so closely, that it was 
impossible to move without tramphng on them ; the washing and 
bathing in the well still continued, and the dancing, drinking, roar- 
ing, and singing were, in some degree, kept up throughout the night. 
The, effect produced by fires lighted early in the evening on the 
highest points of the surrounding mountains, and reflected in the dark 
bosom of the lake, was very impressive. Lighting fires, however, 
on the eve of St. John has not any peculiar reference to the celebra- 
tion of the patron, being a popular custom of remote antiquity 
and a remain of Pagan rites in honour of the sun. The eve of St. 
John, (the longest day,) and May eve, are still marked by a variety 
of superstitious ceremonies. Formerly, the fire in every peasant's 
habitation was extinguished on the annual festival of May eve, and 

o o 

382 THE RIVER LEE, Chap. XV. 

rekindled with a spark obtained from the sacred fire of Beal, so was 
the Spirit of Flame termed, and hence the month of May is called, 
in the Irish language, " mi na Beal-tine/' This scene I have mi- 
nutely described, as it aflfords a faithful picture of the patron, or well- 
worship of the Irish peasantry. In the rural superstition attached to 
wells there is something highly poetic ; and however these ceremo- 
nies may ^ave fallen into abuse, I cannot regard with indifference 
or scepticism the devotional rites performed by the humble cottager 
at those sequestered spots. The belief of a latent healing virtue in 
the trickling lymph of a fountain is that of a mind naturally innocent 
and pious. In the early ages of Christianity such lonely places, 
remote from the hand of persecution, were selected by the inspired 
teachers of rehgion to unfold their glorious doctrine, and at these 
primitive fonts converts received the first rites of the church. 

" Hence came those wells in many countries to bear the name of 
some patron saint, who, while the gorgeous temples of the earth were 
devoted to falsehood and licentiousness, erected on their grassy mar- 
gin the shrine of immortality/' 

Consecrated or holy wells are very numerous throughout Ireland, 
and are usually situated in solitary nooks, shaded by a group of 
venerable ash, elm, or sycamore trees ; the spring is walled, or, if I 
might use the term, hooded over; and above the entrance is a large 
flag-stone embedded in the wall, marked with the figure of a cross 
or some piece of devout sculpture ; near these wells little altars or 
shrines are frequently constructed, often in the rudest manner, and, 
kneeling before them, the Irish peasant is seen offering up his prayers 
with that worldly abstraction which proceeds only from the strength 
of religious faith, undisturbed by the casual visitor, and seemingly 
unconscious of the presence of an intrusive spectator. There is so 
httle ostentation in these rites, and so much solemnity, silence, and 
beauty in the secluded scenes where they are performed, that the 
heart cannot refiise to sympathize in feelings of devotion : but these 

Chap. XV. THE RIVER LEE. 283 

are destroyed by the disgraceful riot of the patron, a meeting that 
seems established only to profane all that is impressive, simple, and 

On my second visit to Gougaun, in 1815, 1 perceived a large stone 
which had been set up on the island, with a long inscription stating the 
number of prayers to be repeated at each of the cells, or chapels, and 
other directions of a similar kind : but about this time, these meet- 
ings were publicly discountenanced by the Roman Catholic clergy, 
and in 1818, Dr. Murphy, the titular Bishop of Cork, expressly for- 
bad that of Gougaun. This special interference became necessary, 
from the fatal conseiquences attendant on them, as one seldom con- 
cluded without the loss of many lives ; and patrons were professedly 
selected for the purpose of contest, by hostile factions or clans that 
met, and, when the rites of devotion were ended, fought — 

in all the rage 

Of family dissension kindled fell^ 
Through wide-extended consanguinity !" 

The rocky outlet of the water of the lake, in some places, is not 
more than three or four feet wide — 

■ " Amid heaps 

Of mountain wreck, on either side thrown high. 
The wide-spread traces of its wintry might. 
The tortuous channel winds o'er beds of sand : 
Here silently it flows — there from the rock 
Rebutted, curls and eddies — plunges here 
Precipitate — there, roaring among crags. 
It leaps and foams and whirls and hurries on/' 

This Stream is increased by the accession of several mountain 
rills, which after heavy rains become formidable torrents, and pro- 
ceeding over a tract of low ground spreads into a large she^t of 
water, called Lough AUua or Lua, extending nearly four miles in 

o o 2 

284 THE RIVEE LEE. Chap. XV. 

length, and in some parts about a mile in breadth. The new road 
to Bantry winds beautifully along the shore of this lake, but the want 
of wood and cultivation give an air of savageness to the scenery. 
Having a boy with us who carried a blunderbuss, we tried the effect 
of several discharges at Gougaun Lake, and found the echo pro- 
duced by the reverberations astonishingly fine; the sound roUing 
like peals of the loudest thunder around the whole amphitheatre of 
mountains, again and again returning, until at last it died away in 
the distance. We proved the power of the echoes from almost every 
position on the surrounding hills ; the best appeared to be from the 
point whence we first saw the lake. 

It is remarkable, that the river Lee, as far as Inchegeela, is never 
muddy, even in the most violent floods; the cause is probably owing 
to the rocky nature of the ground through which its course lies. 
Tlie little village of Inchegeela, as nearly as I can judge, is distant 
from Gougaun Lake ten English miles, and is the usual approach 
to it. The walls of a barrack, which has been long disused, are all 
that speak the foimer consequence of Inchegeela ; its church and 
parsonage are inconsiderable and ruinous, and at the distance of a 
mile, on a small height above the river, stands the Castle of Carri- 
nacurra, now called Castle Masters, being the property of Mr. 
Masters, who built a dwelling house close by. It is backed by con- 
siderable mountains; the most prominent is Sheehy, whose blue 
peak — 

** A doubtful object roiDgling with the clouds V* 

towers above all the others, the chief of which are Douse, an enormous 
and heavy lump, and Coolnagreenane, or the mountain unknown to 
the sunbeams, a name highly descriptive of its general gloomy ap- 
pearance : behind these, the rugged points of Carrigaprehaun, or the 
Raven's Rock, may be distinguished boldly eminent over Lough 







Chap. XV. THE RIVEE LEE. 285 

Carrinacurra Castle belonged to the OXearies, and the barony 
of Ivelary, in which it is situated, has received its name from this 
family, notwithstanding the Learies were a dependent or minor 
clan, having neither numbers nor possessions sufficient to render them 

Dermot Oge O'Leary, of Carrinacurra, was accused of being 
concerned in the Earl of Desmond's rebellion ; and, in 1588, was 
attainted, amongst others, by act of parliament: and Conogher 
P'Leary again forfeited this dastle and estate in 1641, when it was 
garrisoned by order of Cromwell. 

Following the course of the river Lee, in its progress nearly due 
east towards the ocean, the ruins of Drumcaragh Castle may be 
seen, another fortress erected by the O'Learies; and not far distant 
is Toomb Bridge, a long and narrow pass over an extensive and 
swampy flat, through which the Lee meanders, embracing numerous 
little islands covered with the bog myrtle and stunted timber. 
Rising above Toomb Bridge is a steep and considerable hill, on the 
top of which stands Dundarerk Castle, built by the Mac Carthies, 
and forfeited by Dermot Mac Carty in 1641. It commands a view 
of an immense tract of country, in which the appearance of cultiva- 
tion is scattered and unequal. 

<* To the extended gaze 

Is seen the river wandering far away 

Through sun and shade^ with peopled bank or bare. 

Verdant, or brown. " 

Leaving the Lee for a short space, as its course here becomes less 
interesting, and descending the opposite side of the hill, the river 
SuUane, which falls into the Lee below Macroom, appears winding 
through the low ground beneath, and not far from its craggy chan- 
nel the ruin of a large square tower becomes an imposing and im- 
portant object. This ruin is the Castle of Carrig a Phooky, or the 

286 THE RIVER LEE. Chap. XV. 

Rock of the Spirit, a fortress of the Mac Carthies, to which the 
repentant Teg Mac Corraac Carty retreated, after his desertion to 
the Spaniards at Kinsale, and from whence he petitioned Sir George 
Carew, the Lord President of Munster, for pardon; which was fol- 
lowed by the impeachment of his cousin, the Lord Muskery. A rocky 
stream, called the Foherish, not far distant, falls into the Suliane, 
and affords many picturesque subjects for the pencil. 

Macroom, eighteen miles west of Cork, is a straggling town com- 
posed almost entirely of mud cabins. Its castle, bridge and church, 
however, form rather a respectable group. The castle is a consider- 
able pile, and its building has been attributed to King John, when 
he visited Ireland ; soon aft^r, it became a fortress of the Mac Carthies, 
Lords of Muskery, and its history is identified with the fortunes of 
that family. 

The mail coach road to Cork from Macroom runs on the south 
side of the River Lee, and passes near the walls of Castle More, an 
extensive ruin formerly belonging to the clan of Barrett. There is 
also a road on the north of the river, which leads through a wooded 
and romantic defile, called Glen Caum or the crooked Glen, to the 
miserable village of Carrigadrohid, or the rock of the bridge, where 
the walls of a castle stand on a rock in the centre of the river, over 
which is a stone bridge that adjoins the castle. 

Conflicting traditions name Carrigadrohid Castle as belonging 
both to the Mac Carthies and to the O'Learies, and it does not 
appear improbable that both may be correct, as the O'Learies, 
compared with the Mac Carthies, were an inconsiderable clan and 
dependent on them ; this castle, therefore, may have been bestowed 
by the former, to secure the attachment of the latter. The choice 
of the situation is attributed in a chivalric anecdote to the lady 
O'Carroll, wife of one of the Mac Carthies. In 1641, Carrigadrohid, 
according to Smith, was considered a pass of much importance, and 
was often taken and retaken by the contending parties of that period. 

Chap. XV. THE EIVEB LEE. 28? 

Crossing the river Lee, and following the mail coach road to Cork, 
the castle and abbey of Kilcrea are seen on the southern bank of 
the Ri\:er Bride, which falls into the Lee at Inniscarra. 

Kilcrea Abbey was founded by Cormac Lord Muskery, towards 
the close of the fifteenth century, for Franciscans, and is an extensive 
building without much architectural embellishment. It seems to 
have been the favourite burial-place of most of the neighbouring 
Irish septs, the Mac Carthies, Barretts, O'Learies, Reardins, and 
Sweenys having tombs here. The grave of Arthur O'Leary, the 
outlaw, is particularly pointed out to the attention of visitors ; and 
there is a long epitaph in verse engraven on it : 

*' Low Arthur Leary, handsome, young and brave. 
Slain in his prime, lies in this lowly grave/' Sec. 

The history of this Arthur O'Leary affords an extraordinary picture 
of the state of Ireland during the last century. 1 believe the following 
account will be found correct in the most important particulars. 

The early part of O'Leary's life was spent in the military service 
of France. He returned to his native country about fifty years since, 
and soon possessed so much influence amongst the peasantry, as 
to excite the jealousy of a gentleman named Morris ; a quarrel 
originating in some private circumstances ensued, which termi- 
nated in the most deadly enmity on the part of Mr. Morris towards 

By the penal laws against the Catholics, it was forbidden any one 
of that persuasion to possess a horse whose value should be more 
than five pounds; and this law, though it had fallen into disuse, re- 
mained unrepealed. 

O'Leary was a Catholic, and distinguished for his skill in horse- 
manship, as well as being the owner of the finest and most spirited 
horse in the country. 

Mr. Morris, in company with a party of his friends, meeting 

288 THE RIVEB LEE. Chap. XV. 

O'Leary on some public occasion, rode up to him, and in the most 
taunting manner offered him five pounds, and desired him to dis- 

O'Leary refused to comply with this insulting proposal, a struggle 
followed, and he, being surrounded by the friends of Mr. Morris, 
was glad to owe his escape to the speed of the animal he rode; but 
this rencounter, being represented to government in the light of a 
violent and open resistance to the laws, O'Leary was proclaimed 
an outlaw, and a considerable reward offered for his apprehension ; 
notwithstanding which, he continued for many months to ride publicly 
through the country, armed at all points, and even appeared in the 
city of Cork, where he attempted to assassinate Mr. Morris, as he 
stood at the window of his lodgings in Duncan Street, by firing a pistol 
at him.* 

So beloved was O^Leary amongst the peasantry, that it became 
impossible to take him, although his retreats were well known to the 
military and police; and for three or four years, his popularity 
baffled the most active efforts of the parties constantly in pui'suit of 
him. He was at last surprized near Macroom, but soon distanced 
his pursuers by such a space, that he conceived himself completely 
out of reach of their muskets, when, turning round, he waved his 
hat in token of defiance, and in that act was shot through the heart 
by a soldier. 

An avenue of fine old trees leads to the entrance of Kilcrea Abbey, 
close to which are piled up a vast number of skulls and bones. The 
castle is near the abbey, and appears to have been built to protect 

The course of the River Bride is through a small village called the 
Ovens, and opposite its junction with the Lee, stands the parish 

* '* July 7, 1773. Three shots were fired at Abraham Morris, Esq., at his lodgings in 
Mr. Boyce's house, Hammond's Marsh ; the ball entered a little below the window, but 
did no mischief." — FitzgeraWs Cork Remembrancer. 

Cha?. XV. THE RIVEE LEE. 289 

church of Inniscarra, beautifully situated on a bend of that river, 
its spire rising gracefully out of a clump of trees. The ancient 
name of Inniscarra was Tu^imnava, and here the celebrated St. 
Senant of Inniscattery founded a house, in which he placed eight of 
his austere disciples, but not the slightest vestige of this establishment 
can now be traced. Behind the church, rises an extensive and 
uncultivated hill called Gorrovagh, signifying in English rugged; 
I was told it was once the property of a gentleman named Dwyer, 
who, continued the narrator, " drank it acre by acre, your honour/' 
" How could that be?'' " Why he just sold acre after acre for drink, 
until he did not leave himself one foot of all the ground as far as you 
can see." 

At BallincoUig, about four miles from Cork, are extensive artillery 
barracks, and a manufactory of gunpowder; there is also the ruin 
of a considerable castle that belonged to the Barretts, and was 
garrisoned both in the wars of Cromwell and of James II. 

Carrigrohan Castle, a mile and a half nearer Cork than that of 
BallincoUig, is a castellated house, and stands on an abrupt rocky 
eminence over the Lee, from which it probably derives its name ; 
Carrigrohan signifying in English a rocky, sharp pointed hill. It 
suflFered considerable dilapidation in the disturbances of 1641, but 
was shortly after repaired, and became the residence of Captsun Cape, 
a notorious Tory or Rapparee, who with a gang of desperate associates 
plundered travellers, and laid the neighbouring country under con- 
tribution in the most daring manner. 

About twenty years since, a remarkably fine sycamore tree stood 
near it. 

In this neighbourhood^ a curious fragment, now in my possession, 
was dug up; it is a grotesque carving minutely executed on bone, 
(supposed to have been part of a human skull,) representing a dragon 
stirring with a pole an emaciated human figure or corpse, and be- 
tween them is a label bearing the legend " mittet malos in caminu 

p p 



Chap. XV. 

ignis" To assign correctly the object or use of this piece of 
monkish labour is now a matter of impossibility, although it may 
once have attained extensive celebrity. 

The view from Carrigrohan Castle is very pleasing. On the opposite 
hHl are some respectable seats, and through a richly planted glen 
murmurs the Awbeg, a stream that passes near Blarney and falls into 
the Lee, which holds its tranquil course towards Cork, where Spencer, 
with topographical accuracy, describes 

" The spreadmg Lee, that like an island fair 
Encloseth Cork with his divided flood." 



Slow as Bome nuDer saps th' aspiring tower^ 
When working secret with destractive aim. 
Unseen, unheard, thus moves the stealing hour. 
But woriu the fall of emptre, pomp, and name.*' 


Blarney, so famous in Irish song and story, is situated about four 
miles north-west of Cork, and was, within these few years, a thriving 
manufacturing village ; but it no longer wears the aspect of comfort 
or of business, and appears much gone to decay. 

The alteration struck me very forcibly. In 1815, I remember a 
large square of neat cottages, and the area, a green shaded by fine old 
trees. Most of the cottages are now roofless ; the trees have been 
cut down, and on my last visit, in 1821, a crop of barley was ripening 
in the square. 

'• — " the clain'rous rooks 

Ask for their wonted seat, but ask in vain ! 
Their ancient home is leyeFd with the earth, 
P P 2 

292 BLARNEY. Chap. XVI. 

Never to wave again its leafy head. 
Or yield a covert to the feather'd choir. 
Who now, with broken song, remote and sb;. 
Seek other bowers, their native branches gone!^ 

This prepared me to expect a similar change in the gronnds of the 
castle, where much timber has been ako felled ; but the grounds still 
are beautiful, rock and water being features in the landscape, the 
picturesque effect of which neglect cannot injure. 

The castle consists of a massive square tower, that rises broad and 
boldly above surrounding trees, on a precipitous rock over a stream 
called the Awmartin ; and attached to the east side is an extensive 
dwelling-house, erected about a century since by Sir James JeflFreys, 
who purchased or obtained this estate from the crown, and in whose 
family it still continues. 

Blarney Castle was built about the middle of the fifteenth century, 
by Cormad Mac Carty, or Carthy, surnamed Laider, or the Strong. 
He was descended from the Kings of Cork, and was esteemed so 
powerful a chieftain that the English settlers in his part of Munster 
paid him an annual tribute of forty pounds to protect them from the 
attacks and insults of the Irish. To him is also ascribed the building 
of the Abbey and Castle of Kilcrea, the Nunnery of Ballyvacadine, 
with many other religious houses ; in the former of which he was 
buried.* It would be a matter of little importance and considerable 
labour to trace the Castle of Blarney from one possessor to another. 
The genealogical table in Keating's History of Ireland will enable 
those addicted to research to follow the Mac Carty pedigree ; but a 
tireisome repetition of names, occasioned by the scantiness of them 
in an exceedingly numerous family, present continual causes of per- 

* This tomb, according to ArchdalFs Monasticon Hibernicum, stood in the middle of 
the choir of Kilcrea Abbey, with the following inscription. 


Chap^XVI. blarney. 293 

plexity to the general reader. The names of Donough, Cormac, 
Teig, Florence, Dermot, Owen and Donnell, constitute almost the 
whole catalogue used by the Mac Carties for a period exceeding six 
hundred years.* This difficulty is heightened from the entire sept 
being, in point of fact, without a sirname, as the followers of most 
chieftains in Ireland as well as Scotland assumed that of their lord. 
In the reign of Edward IV. a statute was enacted, commanding each 
individual to take upon himself a separate sirname, '^ either of his 
trade and faculty, or of some quahty of his body or mind, or of the 
place where he dwelt, so that every one should be distinguished 
from the other." But this statute did not effect the object proposed, 
and Spenser, in his View of Ireland, mentions it as having become 
obsolete, and strongly recommends its renewal. 

As a sketch of the history of the Muskery branch of the Mac 
Carty family affords an opportunity of illustrating many important 
events in the south of Ireland, perhaps no apology will be necessary 
for the introduction of it in the account of Blarney, which was their 
principal residence. . 

The original name of a sept or clan was Carty, supposed to be 
derived from Cartheigh, which signifies an Inhabitant of the Rock; 
and Mac, denoting " son of,'' was used before the father's Christian 
name for the purpose of distinction, as, Mac Cormac Carty expressed 
Carty, son of Cormac ; this manner of designation appears discon- 
tinued on the introduction of a greater variety of names, and the Mae 
alone retained by the elder branches. 

It is also necessary to remark, that the title of Muskery was 

* Amongst the Harleian MSS. the Vol. No. 1425, contains pedigrees of Irish nobility; 
from the ninth to the twenty-second page is occupied by those of *' Mac Cartie More," 
Mac Cartie Reagh, and all other Mac Carties, brought down to the year l6l5; but 
though curious for reference, there is little worth the trouble of transcribing. The most 
common female names in the Mac Carty pedigree are, Katheren, Elin, Honnor, Joan 
and Grany. 


assumed by the chief of that district from being lord of the soil. This 
also creates much confusion, as the same person is frequently called 
Carty, Mac Carty and Lord Muskery ; and when knighthood had 
been conferred, the title of Muskery was still retained with that of 
Sir, as, Cormac Mac Teig Carty, we find styled Sir Cormac Mac 
Teig Carty Lord Muskery. I offer as a matter of conjecture, that 
the title of Earl Clancarty, conferred on the Mac Carties by Charles 
II., had its origin in Lord of the Clan of Carty. 

In 1542, an indenture of allegiance to the English laws was signed 
by Teig Mac Cormac Carty {Dom de Muskery) amongst other 
Irish chieftains ; and in 1558, his son Dermod was knighted at lime- 
rick on his submission, by Thomas Earl of Sussex, (the Lord 
Deputy,) who at the same time presented him with a gold chain and 
a gilt pair of spurs. This mark of favour was certainly merited, for 
the Muskery Mac Carties, unlike most other Irish clans, appear to 
have strictly maintained their faith with the English since the original 
submission of their ancestor the King of Cork to Henry II. 

In 1580, Sir James of Desmond, brother to the notorious earl, 
entered the district of Muskery, probably stimulated, in addition^ to 
his love of plunder, by envy of Cormac Mac Teig Carty, whom the 
Lord Deputy Mountjoy, in a letter to the council of England, men- 
tions, ^^ for loyalty and civil deportment, to be the rarest man tliat ever 
was bom among the Irishry.^' Camden also notices him as a person 
" of great name" in Muskery, which is " a wild and woody coun- 
try."* But Sir James of Desmond sought his own destruction, a^ 

* '' Muskrie is thus bounded : 
Upon the west Bantrie, 
Upon the east by Lord Barrie, 
Upon the south Carberrie» 
Upon the east Kerrichirrye, 
Upon the north Dowallie." 

Har. MSS. No. 1425. 

Chap.XVL blarney. 295 

the Mac Carties not only defeated his party, leaving a hundred and 
fifty dead on the field, but took Sir James prisoner, who was deli- 
vered by order of the Lords Judges to Sir Warham St. Leger and 
Captain (afterwards Sir) Walter Raleigh, by whom, in virtue of a 
special commission directed to them, he was tried as a traitor, and, 
being found guilty, was executed, and his head and quarters fixed on 
the gates of Cork. 

For this service Cormac Mac Teig Carty was knighted by the 
Lord Justice, and made High Sheriff of the County Cork, with a 
commission of martial law, and power to grant protection for fifteen 
days to any but principal rebels. 

On the 21st October, I6OI, Cormac Mac Dermod Carty, com- 
monly called Lord Muskery, attacked the Spanish trenches at Kin- 
sale, in command of a party of Irish, by order of Sir George Carew, 
(the Lord President,) and though at first he drove the invaders before 
him, yet his men soon retreated without much apparent cause, on 
which Sir William Godolphin (who went into Ireland with the 
unfortunate Earl of Essex) advanced and forced the Spaniards to 
retire. This circumstance, whfen so many Irish chieftains were in 
open rebellion, was sufficient to throw strong suspicions on the attach- 
ment of the Mac Carties to the English ; and about the same time. 
Teg Mac Cormac Carty, cousin to the Lord Muskery, deserted from 
Sir George CarcMr's troop to the enemy; but shortly afl«r, either 
through policy or repentance, he addressed a letter to the Lord 
President, dated from " Carrigafuky," the 9th June, 1602 ; a copy of 
which may be found in the Pacata Hibemia, expressing contrition 
for his conduct, and requesting, through Sir George's mediation, to 
be received again to the Queen's favour. 

The Lord President, naturally feeling that little dependence could 
be placed on such a person, gave a decided refusal to his petition, 
and Teg Mac Cormac Carty had recourse, for procuring his pardon, 
to the dishonourable means of betraying the confidence of his kinsman 

296 BLARNEY. Chap. XVL 

Lord Muskery, and accused him of corresponding with the Spanish 
and Italian governments, and of having received from the former eight 
thousand ducats, for which sum he had promised to deliver his Castle 
of Blarney into their hands. 

This information corroborating that derived from other sources, 
and strengthened by many circumstances, completely served to esta- 
blish Lord Muskery's disaffection in the mind of the President, who 
concluded* on apprehending him as a traitor, yet dreaded using 
forcible measures, knowing his clan to be one of the most powerful 
in Ireland, and capable of offering an obstinate resistance which 
would doubtless receive foreign as well as internal support Lord 
Muskery was stated to have a thousand well-armed followers in 
readiness for action, and it was known could command the services 
of the clans of Reardin, Murphy, and Sweeny of Muskery, with the 
O'Learies, O'Mahonies, and O'Driscolls of Carbery. He was also 
possessed of many castles, particularly those of Kilcrea, Macroom 
apd Blarney, which latter is described, at that time, as being one of 
the strongest in the province of Munster; " for it is four piles joined 
in one, seated upon a main rock, so as it is free from mining, the 
wall eighteen feet thick, and flanked at each comer to the best 

Stratagem was therefore resorted to, and Sir Charles Wilmot and 
Captain Roger Harvey with part of their companies dispatched from 
Cork to endeavour and surprize Blarney, but in this they failed, the 
warders being on the alert, who compelled them to receive without 
the walls some refreshment which they requested. 

Lord Muskery was, however, taken, and brought before the Pre- 
sident and council at Cork. . He repelled with indignation the charge 
of treason — called himself a slandered and injured man — declared 
the whole a conspiracy of his enemies — and concluded, by renounce 
dng all claim to favour or pardon if the charge could be supported by 
lawful testimony. The President replied coolly to his vehement pro- 

Chap. XVL BLARNEY. 297 

testations, and urged him, if guilty, freely to confess his guilt and 
entreat the Queen's mercy; or, if innocent, that he should deUver his 
Castle of Blarney into the hands of trastees, who would hold it 
until the charges . against him were disproved. Lord Muskery 
hesitated, and was in consequence committed to gaol where he was 
detained heavily ironed. Finding himself so much in the Lord Pre- 
sident's power, and perhaps somewhat intimidated by his temperate 
yet inflexible conduct, Lord Muskery at length consented to sur- 
render up Blarney to Captain Taffe, in whom he reposed much con- 
fidence, on a promise of its being restored to him in an unaltered 
condition. His Abbey and Castle of Kilcrea were delivered to Capt. 
Francis Shngsbie, and a considerable force was sent under Captain 
Flower and Sir Charles Wilmot to reduce Macroom, from which, on 
account of its situation, an obstinate resistance was expected. 

In the mean time Lord Muskery's wife and younger children were 
taken and confined at Cork, and his followers employed a confi- 
dential man named John O'Healy to convey the eldest son, Cormac 
Oge* Carty, (then a student at Oxford,) secretly from England, and 
to communicate with the Spanish government. The President, having 
received information of these plans, seized O'Healy on ship-board as 
he was leaving Cork Harbour, who, to prevent discovery, flung into 
the sea a bag containing his despatches and money, so that no secret 
was divulged, and no further proof than the act existed to criminate 
him. O'Healy was thrown into prison, and Lord Muskery more 
closely guarded than ever. " If shackles of iron, walls of stone, and 
force of men can make him sure," said his gaoler in reply to the Lord 
President's charge, " then shall my prisoner be forthcoming whenso- 
ever the state may be pleased to call for him." Sir George Carew's 

* Oge signifies young, and has something the same meaning as our junior. It was 
formerly used in Ireland before the sir-name during the father^s life, and on his death 
changed to Mac. 

Q Q 


charge was repeated and enforced to the gaoler both by the Bishop 
of Cork and Dominick Sarsfield, the Queen's Attorney for Munster, 
who commanded him to keep Lord Muskery ^^ in a handlock with 
his own servant, or some soldier of especial trust/' Two days after 
this last caution Lord Muskery escaped ! He contrived, between 
eight and nine o'clock in the evening, to force himself out of a win- 
dow and descend into the street, where " were divers mandemen to 
receive him." The alarm was given almost instantly and a vigorous 
pursuit commenced, but in vain — favoured by a dark night and 
with a perfect knowledge of the country, protected by a select band 
of men, (each of whom would have laid down his hfe in defence of 
their lord,) and surrounded by hundreds who were willing to favour 
and assist his flight, it is not surprising that having once passed the 
iron grate of his prison he should baffle even the most active pursuit. 
The President immediately issued letters to Sir Charles Wilmot (who 
still lay before Macroom) that if he could not gain the castle that 
night he should raise the siege and retreat the next morning ; but 
almost in the same hour these orders arrived, Macroom Castle acci- 
dentally caught fire, and the besieged as a last resource took refuge 
in the bawn, where most of them (about fifty) were put to the sword. 
On the news of Lord Muskery's escape, O'SuUivan of Beare, 
Captain Terril and others in rebellion, ofiered to support him against 
the Lord President; but Lord Muskery, afi«r a conference with the 
latter, considering that he had little prospect of ultimate success, 
and that both his family and estates were in the President's power, 
determined on making terms, and wrote requesting permission to 
throw himself at Sir George Carew's feet; which request was 

This submission was both sincere and permanent, as we find him 
and his clan shortly afterwards actively employed under Sir Charles 
'Wilmot in various mihtary exploits ; and it would appear some con- 
fidence was placed in Lord Muskery, he being summoned to par- 
liament as Baron of Blarney. 

Ghap. xvi. BLAENEr. agg 

History is silent respecting the Mac Carries for about forty years. 
The first information, in the south of Ireland, of the insurrection of 
1641, was communicated to Lord Cork, during dinner time, at 
Castle Lyons, his son-in-law the Earl of Barrymore's hou&e, where 
a large company of Irish chiefs were assembled. Donough, Lord 
Muskery, was amongst the number, and treated the account as 
an exaggerated tale ; but the other guests, anticipating serious con- 
sequences, separated abruptly, and returned immediately to prepare 
their respective residences for defence. Lord Muskery's conduct 
on this occasion appears an act of the deepest dissimulation ; for, in 
a few days, he was at the head of several thousand Irish. On 
the death of Sir William St. Leger, Lord Muskery, whom Ludlow 
styles ** an Irish rebel/' assumed, or was appointed to the Presi- 
dency of Munster by Charles I., notwithstanding the solicitations 
and claims of Lord Inchiquin, son-in-law to the former Presi- 
dent, for that office, which mortified Lord Inchiquin so much, that 
he immediately declared for the Parliament. The character of 
Lord Muskery during this distracting period, when the royal and 
-parliament parties were subdivided into many others, that more 
than once changed sides, and fought against the banners under 
which they had first appeared, was marked by a love of discipline, 
a high sense of honour, and strong feelings of humanity. Personal 
bravery fian scarcely be enumerated as a virtue, when every man of 
that day was of necessity a soldier ; and Ireland presented a scene 
of petty and treacherous, certainly the most dreadful state of war- 
fare. In the beginning of 1646, Lord Broghill^ afterwards the 
celebrated Earl of Orrery, took the Castle of Blarney, which he 
seems subsequently to have occasionally made his quarters. A 
printed letter to William Lenthall, the Speaker, from Lord Brog- 
hill, is preserved in the British Museum, dated Blairnej/j 1st August, 
1651, giving an account of a battle between him and Lord Muskery. 
Smith, in his History of Cork, also mentions a manuscript at Lismore 

Q q2 

300 BLARNEY- Chap. XVL 

in his lordship's own writing, containing an account of the same 
battle ; which is exceedingly curious and interesting. 

Muskery, who had been obliged to abandon his castles and retire 
from the parliamentary forces into the fastnesses of Kerry, made an 
attempt to relieve liimerick, which was closely besieged by Ireton^ 
when Lord Broghill, after manoeuvring some days, intercepted him 
on his march near Courtstown, sometimes called Knocknaclashy. 

The features of this action are so full of romantic reaUty , that I 
cannot pass them over without a short notice, though at the risk of 
my narrative being considered tedious. Broghill came up with the 
advanced part of Muskery's force " about midnight, in the midst of 
a dreadful storm of rain and wind f and that night the opposing 
troops lay so near " as to see each other's fires reciprocally.'' In 
the morning, Lord Broghill advanced and crossed the river Black- 
water, when he was met by many groups of peasantry, some of whom 
he questioned as to the cause of their assembling, and received for 
answer, that it was to witness a battle which had long been prophe- 
sied should be fought on that ground. When his lordship asked 
them which side was to gain the victory, they shook their heads, 
and said, " The English are to get the day." — ^^ Our word," adds 
Lord Broghill, " was prosperity — ^their's, St. James — our signall, 
white, in hats— their's, greene feame." 

It was a desperately contested fight ; at one time the Irish ad- 
vanced on Lord Broghill's right wing with a thousand musketeers, 
and, to use his lordship's words, '* with their horse, fought horse head 
to horse head, hacking with their swords. Not a horse oflficer of the 
Irish," continues Lord Broghill, ** (except one) but he or his horse 
was killed or wounded. All the first rank in my squadron, being 
thirty-three, were either killed or wounded. We resolved not to give 
or take quarter ; however, several had quarter after the battle. — 
Among the baggage was.foimd a peck full of charms, relicks, &c. 
besides anjnfinite quantity taken. from the dead, with a peculiar one 

Chap. XVI. BLARNEY. 301 

oh papery s&id to be the exact measure of Our Lady's foot, and 
written in ^t, — ^ Whoever wears this, and repeats certain prayers, 
shall be free from gun-shot, sword, and pike,' respectively, as each 
desired. Like the battle of Naesby, from a fair day it rained hard 
during the fight; with thunder and lightning, and afterwards cleared 
up again.'' Lord Broghill tells us, that his " boldest horse, being 
twice wounded, became so fearful, that he was turned to the 

From this account it is evident the conflict was sanguinary in the 
extreme. Muskery is reported to " have escaped narrowly, and 
Lieutensmt-Colonel Mac Gillicuddy, (who commanded young Mus- 
kery's regiment, and a man more popular than Muskery himself in 
his own country,) was made prisoner, with Major Mac Gillariagh, an 
old Spanish soldier, and other officers of note." 

" We had a very fair execution for above three miles," writes 
Lord Broghill, in his letter to the Speaker, " and, indeed, it was 
bloody; for I gave orders to kill all, though some few prisoners, 
of good quality, were saved. All their foot field-officers charged on 
foot with pikes in their hands, so that few of them got off*, it being too 
farre from any bogs or woods, which diey say they selected pur- 
posely that their men might have no confidence but in their courages 
— but we relyed on a better strength than the arm of flesh, and when 
their strength failed them, our's did not fail us. Their priests, all the 
way before they came to fight, encouraged them by speeches, but 
especially by sprinkling holy water on them, and by charms, of 
which I herewith send you a copy,* (many of them were found 

* " COPY of the SPELL. 

** Jesu Christi — Filii Dei vivi» illumina me — Benedicta Mater Dei, Gubernatrix An- 
gelorum et totius Mundi, ora pro me ad benedictum Filium tuum florem — Angelorum ad 
CoroDam — Coelorum-et confessorum — ^Affligentium Civitatis suae Jerusalem Pater Noster, 
Ave Maria, Credo in Deum. 

" This orizon was found on the Sepulcher of Christ, and was approved of by the 

302 BLARNEY. Ghap- XVL 

quilted in the doublets of the dead.) Certainly they are a people 
strangely given over to destruction, who, though otherwise under- 
standing enough, let themselves be still deluded by ridiculous things 
and by more ridiculous persons. Had I been one of the charmed, I 
would have j&rst tryed mine on the priest which gave it.'' 

This battle hastened the surrender of Limerick to Ireton, who 
received Lord Broghill, on his arrival there, with a comphmentary 
feu-de-joie. Shortly after, Lord Muskery was apprehended, and 
tried for his life, on the charge of having murdered several English, 
but, being acquitted, was allowed to pass into Spain, and an order 
was made by the commissioners for the parliament that Lord Mus- 
kery 's lady should enjoy all her husband's estates, except a thousand 
a year, which had been granted to Lord Broghill, for his services, by 
order dated 8th September, 1656. 

An exile, and deprived of fortune. Lord Muskery endeavoured to 
procure a commission in the French service, but was recalled on the 
Restoration, and the active part he had taken in the royal cause re- 
warded by his being created, in 1658, Viscount Muskery and Earl 
of Clancarty ; and four years after, a bill of indemnity was passed 
by both houses of parliament, through the interest of Lord Ormond, 
securing all his honours and estates to him and his posterity, with 
the exception of that part in the possession of Lord Broghill, who 
had become a firm partisan of Charles II. 

Lord Clancarty had three sons — Charles, Callaghan, and Justin. 
Charles, Lord Muskery, (a great favourite of the Duke of York, 
afterwards James II.) was killed in a sea-fight against the Dutch, on 
the 3d of June, 1665, and was buried with honours in Westminster 

Council of Trent. Whosoever carries this orizon about him shall not perish in battle, 
water, or in fire, and shall be free from the pestilence, and from all his enemies both spi- 
ritual and corporal, and shall be eased from disease of his heart •**•♦••• 
** Finally, Whosoever carrieth this Orizon about him, shall see the Virgin Maiy fourteen 
days before his death/' 

Chap. XVL BLARNEY. 303 

Abbey.* His father survived him only two months, and the title of 
Clancarty descended, on the death of Charles James, the infant son 
of Lord Muskery, to his brother Callaghan, who had retired into a 
convent in France. — Callaghan, the third Earl, was succeeded by 
his only son, Donough. He was educated at Oxford, under the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and privately married, when not sixteen, 
to the Earl of Sunderland's daughter, after which he went into Ireland, 
where he continued a protestant until the arrival of James II. 

James landed at Kinsale on Wednesday the 12th of March, 1688, 
and was received and entertained by Lord Clancarty, whom he 
created one of the Lords of his bed-chamber, and, by letters patent, 
clerk of the crown and peace for Munster. James also gave him a troop 
of horse, in command of which, he is charged with having com- 
mitted many acts of wanton cruelty. On the Sunday following his 
arrival, James, supported by two Fraiiciscan friars, and attended by 
Lord Clancarty and many priests in their orders, publicly heard 
mass performed in Cork ; and Lord Clare, the governor, caused all 
protestants who remained in the city to be committed to prison — 
the churches in Cork, the castles of Blarney, Macroom, and the 
others belonging to Lord Clancarty, being used as places of confine- 

On the surrender of Cork to the Duke of Marlborough, in I69I, 
Lord Clancarty, amongst others, was taken at the capture of the old 
fort, and, notwithstanding the exertions made by his father-in-law, 
the Earl of Sunderland, to procure his pardon, a representation, 
drawn up by Sir Richard Cox, (the historian, then second justice of 

* Richard the third son of the second Earl of Cork, represented the county of 
Cork with Sir Henry Tynte in the parliament of I66I; but going to sea, a volunteer 
i^ainst the Dutch, in the same ship with the Duke of York, lost his life with Charles 
Berkeley, Earl of Falmouth, and Charles, Lord Viscount Muskery, who all fell by one 
cannon-shot in the great engagement on the Sd of June, 1665, in Southhold Bay. — Lodgers 
Peerage, "vol. i. p. J 74. 

304 BLARNEY. Chap. XVL 

the Common Pleas,) stating the excesses, of which Lord Clancarty 
had been guilty, and the conspicuous part he had taken in support 
of the arbitrary measures of James, was not to be overruled, and the 
estates and title of Clancarty were declared forfeited to the. crown. 

It should be mentioned, to the honour of King Wilham's govern- 
ment, that a considerable tract of the forfeited ground was granted 
to a poor butcher at Mallow, who had fallen a victim to lx)rd Clan- 
carty 's ferocity; the remainder was sold, with other property similarly 
circumstanced, at Chichester-house, DubUn : and the Sale Book 
is preserved in the library of the king's inns. 

A pension of three hundred a year was allowed to this unfortunate 
nobleman, on condition of his leaving the kingdom. ** With this,"' 
says Smith, " he retired to Hamburgh on the Elbe, and purchased a 
little island in the mouth of that river from the citizens of Altona, 
which went by his name.* There he erected a convenient dwelling- 
house, with a range of store-houses, and formed an useful garden. 
In this place he made a considerable profit by shipwrecks, but con- 
tinued to give the distressed all the assistance in his power, and saved 
the lives of many. His profit arose from the goods thrown on his 
island, which he placed in his store-houses ; and if demanded by the 
right owners, within the year, he returned them, requiring only two 
per cent, for the store-room ; if not, he made use of them as his own. 
He died here October 22, 1734, aged 64 f leaving two sons, Robert, 
a captain in the English navy, commonly called Lord Muskery, 
and Justin Mac Carty, Esq. Lord Muskery, having fallen under 
suspicions of being attached to the House of Stuart, " which had on 
a former occasion,'' remarks Charnock, in his Biographia Navalis, 

* Pr. Smith appears indebted for his iDformation respecting the exiled Lord Clancarty 
to a Tour through Ireland by two English Gentlemen, published in 1748. This lively 
writer tells us — '^ When my brother and I were at Hamburgh in our travels home last 
year, our Consul there/ Sir C — ^1 W — h, took us in his yacht to view this island; and from 
that worthy gentleman I had the account." 

Chap. XVI. BLARNEY. 305 

" proved the ruin of his father, was ordered to be struck off the list 
of naval officers, on the l6th July, 1749:" he afterwards entered 
into a foreign service. 

Such is the history of the once powerful Mac Cartys of Muskery; 
that of the other branches of the same family, as well as of most 
Irish clans, closely resemble it ; attainder, forfeiture of property and 
exile form the melancholy termination of each, and the circumstances 
and situations which have arisen and still arise out of such violent 
events are numerous and deeply affecting. Instances have occurred 
where the lineal descendants of the most distinguished houses have 
laboured from day to day for precarious support on the lands over 
which their ancestors exercised unlimited sovereignty. A pathetic 
incident connected with the Mac Cartys has such claims on the feel- 
ings that I will not conclude this narrative of their fortunes without 
the mention of it. A considerable part of the forfeited estates of 

that family, in the county Cork, was held by Mr. S about the 

middle of the last century. Walking one evening in his demesne, 
he observed a figure, apparently asl.eep, at the foot of an aged- tree, 
and, on approaching the spot, found an old man extended on the 
ground, whose audible sobs proclaimed the severest affliction. Mr. 

S inquired the cause, and was answered — " Forgive me, sir ; 

my grief is idle, but to mourn is a relief to the desolate heart and 
humbled spirit. I am a Mac Carty, once the possessor of that castle, 
now in ruins, and of this ground ; — ^this tree was planted by my own 
hands, and I have returned to water its roots with my tears. To- 
morrow I sail for Spain, where I have long been an exile and an 
outlaw since the Revolution. I am an old man, and to-night, pro- 
bably for the last time, bid farewell to the place of my birth and the 
home of my forefathers.'^ 

TUb military and historic recollections connected with Blarney 
are doubtless of sufficient importance to give an interest to the place : 
but to a curious superstition it is perhaps more indebted for celebrity. 

806 ai^ARNET- Chap. XVh 

A 8tone in the highest part of the castle wall is pointed out to visitors, 
which is supposed to give to whoever kisses it the peculiar privilege 
of deviating from veracity with unblushing countenance whenever it 
may be convenient — hence the well-known phrase of " Blarney/' 

The grounds attached to the castle, as I before observed, though 
80 little attended to, are still beautiful. Walks, which a few years 
since were neat and trim, are now so overrun with brambles and 
wild flowers as to be passed with difficulty. Much wood has also 
been cut down, and the statues, so ridiculously enumerated in a 
popular song, removed. A picturesque bridge too, which led to the 
castle, has been swept away by the wintry floods, and, with the 
exception of a small dell called the Rock Close, every thing seems 
changed for the worse. In this romantic spot nature and art (a com- 
bination rather uncommon in pleasure grounds) have gone hand in 
hand. Advantage has been taken of accidental circumstances to 
form tasteful and characteristic combinations; and it is really a 
matter of difficulty at first to determine what is primitive, and what 
the produce of design. The delusion is even heightened by the 
present total neglect You come most unexpectedly into this little 
shaded nook, and stand upon a natural terrace above the river, which 
glides as calmly as possible beneath. Here, if you feel inclined for 
contemplation, a rustic couch of rock, all festooned with moss and 
ivy, is at your service; but if adventurous feelings urge you to 
explore farther, a discovery is made of an almost concealed, irregu- 
larly excavated passage through the solid rock, which is descended 
by a rude ffight of stone steps, called the " Witches' Stairs,'' and 
you emerge sul margine d^un rio^ oyer which depend some light and 
graceful trees. It is indeed a fairy scene, and I know of no place 
where I could sooner imagine these little elves holding their moon- 
light revelry. « 

A short distance to the south west of the castle is a lake, said to 
abound with a species of leech. It does not afford one good subject 


Chaj*. XVI. BLAENEY* 397 

jfor the pencil^ being without idands^ this margin swampy, and the 
adjacent trees planted with two much attention to regularity. It is 
a very generally beheved tradition that, before Blarney surrendered 
to Eling William's forces, Lord Clancarty's plate was made up in an 
oaken chest, which was thrown into this lake, and has not since been 
recovered ; nor does this appear improbable, as I understand re- 
peated attempts have in vain been made to drain it. In 1814, the 
late Mr. MilUken, whose well-known song of ^* the Groves of Blar- 
ney^' has identified his memory with the place, gave me 
a clumsy silver ring for the finger, which had been taken 
out of the lake by a boy who was fishing in it. About 
the same time, the signet ring of Donogh Mac Carty 
More was sold by a peasant to a watch- 
maker in Cork named Brooks, from whom 
I obtained an impression, and which is 
copied double the siae of the original. 

Since I am on the subject of discoveries, 
it may be worth notice that, in a quarry 
dose to the castle^ whm'e some men were 
working, we picked up several human 
bones, and that one of the labourers informed us so many as ttventy 
horse loads of these bones had been thrown into the lake ; be also 
spoke of two or three spear-heads being found with them. Groats and 
pennies of the Edwards and Henries have frequently been dug up 
here; but I believe never in ^ny quantity « 

The interior of the castle contains little worth notice except a full 
length portrait of Charles XII. of Sweden, said to be an original, 
and brought here by one of the Jeffireys family who was envoy to 
that monarch. 

At Kiilow«n, near Blarney, the Rev. James De la Cour was born, 
whose " Project of Poetry,'' unfortunately for him, was much 
admiped. It' is reported that some complimentary lines addressed 

R r2 

308 BLARNEY. ChaP. XVI. 

to him OQ this publication, by Thomson, the author of the Seasons, 
commencing with 

'' Hail» gently warbling De la Cour/' 

affected his reason, so as to render him guilty of many irregularities, 
for which he was deprived of his gown. 

The Prospect of Poetry (evidently an imitation of Pope) was first 
published in 1733, and has since been reprinted in Cork more than 
once, with some of De la Courts other poems, the beauties and faults 
of which closely resemble those of the compositions on which they, 
were modelled. 

Many epigrams by Dr. De la Cour are exquisitely satirical : but 
few are to be seen in print owing to their being founded chiefly on. 
temporary and local circumstances, and most of them, consequently 
requiring a long prosaic introduction. Many are known to me, and,, 
as a fair example, I select one, the history of which has been orally 

De la Cour frequented a coffee-house kept by a man named Con- 
nor, who had been servant to Mr. Carleton, a merchant distinguished 
in Cork by the nickname of " King Carleton,'^ on account of his 
wealth and influence, and who patronised his old servant. 

Connor, soon after he had commenced business, married a daughter 
of the city jailor, and the poet, having accumulated a long bill, was 
refused further credit by the. prudent landlady. When De la Cour 
inquired indignantly for Jack Conhor, he was haughtily answered by 
his spouse with ^* Is it Mr. Connor you ask for, sir ? Upon my 
honour I don't know where he is, unless with Frank Carleton !'* This 
was about the time of the breaking out of the American war, and 
on that occasion civic politics ran high. Two addresses were drawn 
up to the government, called the Pro and Con ; the one principally 
signed by the corporation, expressive of their willingness to support 
the cause of England with their lives and fortunes; the other was 

Chap. XVI. blaeney. 309 

from the merchants, praying for pacific measures, and stating how 
injurious war would be to the commercial prosperity of the nation. 
Mr. Connor, to make himself popular, signed both, and was of course 
despised by both sides of the question. Soon after, severe losses on 
extensive speculations caused the failure of Mr. Carleton ; and Con- 
nor, finding himself involved, with his patron, became also a bankrupt, 
when De la Cour is said to have chalked the following lines on a 
window-shutter of his coffee-house : — 

'' So noW| Dame Jail, 

Your pride must fail. 
Likewise your boasted honour. 

For ' Frank * is gone. 

And 'Pro and Con' 
Are signed by ' Mr. CowniOT.* '' 

Another epigram of De la Cour's I copy from a Cork news- 
paper of the time : occasioned by the capture of the Bellona, a 
French frigate of thirty-two guns, by the Vestal of the same force : 

** In vain Bellona mounts the Gallic gun 
To take the honour of the British Nun ; 
Chaste as she lives, so brave she will expire. 
There's no extbguishing a Vestal's fire." 



'' Now thote profomider regions thqr explore 
Whete meCeli ripeo in vul oaket of ore : 
Here sullen to the sight at laige is spread 

The (hiH unwieldy aaass of ImafUtk lead. 

* * * * * * 

The copper sparkles next in ruddy streaks 
And in the gloom betrays its glowing cheeks.** 

Dr. Garth. 

Although it does not come within the design of this work to treat 
on the geology of the south of Ireland, yet I feel satisfied that a brief 
account of its mines and minerals will not be misplaced, and may 
tend to direct some attention to an important though neglected pur- 
suit. There are few countries richer in mineral deposits ; out of the 
thirty-two counties, nineteen are known to contain iron ; seventeen 
copper; dghteen lead, and sixteen coal; and from what has been done 
and is at present doing, it will, I think, appear evident that Ireland 
still holds out the hand of invitation for the further operations of the 
The most ancient work in the country probably is that on Ross 


Isilwd, bordf^riBg osi the lower I^ke of KiU«m«y. It )» situated po 
the soutli side of the islaad^ in limestone, of which this, as well as all 
the other islands in the I^wer Lake, are entirely composed » The 
remote antiquity of Ross Mine is established by a discovery made 
on clearing out the old shafts when it was re-opened a few years 
since, at which time several rude implements of stone were found 
buried under decayed vegetable matter and rubbish, the accumu- 
lation of many centuries : two or three of these relics are in my 
possession, but their construction is so barbarous that it is evident, 
with such tools, the process of mining must have been very slow as 
well as laborious. From appearances, however, it may be inferred, 
that the workmen endeavoured to faciUtate their operations by 
kindling large fires on the limestone, thereby reducing it to a caustic 
state ; and the timber from the immediate vicinity was, most proba- 
bly, the fuel use^. for this purpose* Marks of the fires were distinctly 
to be seen when the rock was exposed to view, which, with the dis- 
covery of the stone implements, afibrds satisfactory evidence of the 
mine having been originally worked at a period prior to the know- 
ledge of either iron or gunpowder, and hence local tradition has 
attributed these operations to the Danes. 

There is reason to think that this work was again opened in the 
reign of James I., as some coins of that monarch were found in 
another and a distinct part of the mine ; but why it was relinquished, 
if then worked, must remain a subject for conjecture. 

About the year 1804, Colonel Hall, who had been some time 
quartered at Killarney, conceiving a favourable opinion of Ross 
Mine, induced one or two gentlemen in the vicinity to join him in 
re-opening it. Having succeeded in clearing out the water and 
rubbish, the little company were encouraged by the flattering ap- 
pearance to proceed to work it, which they did on rather an ex- 
tensive scale, notwithstanding the unfavourable circumstance of 
its situation — nearly close to the^lake, the ground not rising much 


above it, and dipping towards it at an angle of about 30 degrees 
from the horizon, so that, in a short time, the workmen had excavated 
completely under the lake, with every fear of its waters breaking in 
on them : the richness and abundance of the ore was, however, a 
sufficient inducement to counteract this danger and inconvenience, 
as, during the four years that Ross Mine was worked, nearly 80,000/. 
worth of copper was disposed of at Swansea, some cargoes produc- 
ing 40/. per ton. But this very richness was the ultimate cause of 
its destruction, as several small veins of pure oxyde of copper split 
off from the main load and ran towards the surface; the ore of these 
veins was much more valuable than the other, consequently the 
miners (who were paid by quality as well as quantity) pursued the 
smaller veins so near the surface, that the water broke through into 
the mine in such an overwhelming degree that an engine of thirty 
horse power could make no sensible impression on the inundation ; 
and thus a forcible stop was put to all further proceedings. 

It would be reasonable to conceive, from the above statement, that 
the proprietors derived considerable advantage from this mine ; such, 
however, was not the case, and it has been asserted that money was 
sunk in the speculation ; but having made particular inquiry into 
the circumstances, it appears evident a result so unfavourable was 
by no means attributable to the mine itself, but to the manner in 
which it was conducted, and it adds one more proof to thousands of 
others that inattention or mismanagement may ruin the most pro- 
mising undertaking. 

Another old copper-mine is to be seen on the Mucruss estate, 
situated on the south side of the peninsula which divides the Lower 
Lake of Killarney from Turk Lake. This mine was worked about 
seventy or eighty years since, and its value spoken of in very high 
terms even to the time of its discontinuance, an event which has 
been solely attributed to differences amongst the parties engaged. 
Colonel Hall, with his usual zeal in the pursuit of mines, jointly with 


another gentleman, went to considerable expense in ascertaining the 
truth of this report, and cleared the old workings of the water and 
rubbish; but, on coming to the bottom, the vein was found so 
reduced in size as to offer little prospect of success in prosecuting it. 
Some tons of good yellow ore from the pillars left to support the roof 
and on the surface were obtained, which sold at Swansea for 15/. per 
ton. There was also a rich vein of cobalt combined with arsenic, of 
about two or three inches wide, lying on one side of the copper vein, 
some of the specimens of which, found on the surface, were com- 
pletely covered Avith a peach bloom efflorescence ; from the small ness 
of the quantity, however, little notice was taken of it as an article of 

There is another vein of yellow copper ore on a small island in the 
Lower Lake called Crow Island, which was worked for a short time 
by the Ross Island Company ; but the produce proving inferior to 
that mine it was not prosecuted to any extent. 

The road from Killarney to Kenmare by Glen Flesk passes over 
limestone, which borders one side of the River Kenmare for several 
miles, but in no part exceeds a mile in breadth. In this limestone 
are several appearances of mineral veins, both of lead and copper, 
specimens of which are easily obtained, as partial attempts have been 
made to work them ; and it is reported that, about sixty years ago, 
several cargoes of copper ore were shipped for England from one 
spot, where there is a considerable excavation. Amongst the rub- 
bish on the surface, specimens of good yellow ore, containing about 
twenty per cent, of metal, may be picked up. A vein of lead was 
also worked not far from this, but the specimens now to be procured 
are mixed with a considerable portion of blende; yet the appear- 
ances along this line warrant further and careful examination. 

At Beerhaven, near the mouth of the river Kenmare, on the county 
Cork side, a most gratifying sight presents itself in a large copper- 
mine at full work. This mine was discovered about nine years since 

s s 


by Mr. Puxley, one of the proprietors of the property on which it 
is situated, who soon after sent to Cornwall for an experienced cap- 
tain, and it has now been in successful operation for more than eight 
years, with every appearance of long continuing a prosperous work. 
A gentleman who visited it in 1822 informed me, that it was giving 
constant employment to about six hundred persons, of both sexes, 
and of all ages from ten years upwards. The monthly expenditure 
was from 900/. to 1000/., and the mine produced from 150 to 200 
tons of ore in the same time. 

Besides paying the proprietors very handsomely, the blessing which 
this mine has been to the surrounding country can only be appre- 
ciated by those who have witnessed such a scene. The place where, 
but a few years since, the barren and rocky mountains could scarcely 
sustain the lives of a few half-starved sheep, is now the scene of busy 
and usefnl employment, dispensing competence and comfort to hun- 
dreds. The principal works are carried on about a mile and a half 
fi'om the water, and the ground rises to a considerable elevation. 
The vein crosses the regular strata of the country, which is a hard 
rock of graywacke, at a small angle, taking a direction about two 
points to the south of east and the same to the north of west. The 
matrix of the vein is a white opaque quartz, in part of its course 
of the amazing width of sixty feet (which has been proved by cutting 
through it), but the ore has seldom exceeded three feet in breadth. 
- Mineral appearances have likewise been discovered on the oppo- 
site side of the river Kenmare, in the county Kerry and along the 
coast as far as Dingle, which might prove worth the attention of 
persons acquainted practically with the subject. Veins of lead and 
copper have been partially worked at Milltown, between Killamey 
and Tralee, on the properties of Sir John Godfrey and Lord Head 
ford ; and they certainly encourage further proceedings. 

The next metallic veins deserving notice are those on the estate of 
Lord Audley, in the county Cork, about ten miles west of Skibbe- 


reen, which were discovered and opened by Colonel Hall about the 
year 1814. Three distinct veins presented themselves at no very 
considerable distance from each other. The first worked was a bright 
yellow ore of iron pyrites, containing in general about 8 per cent, of 
copper. The second has been scarcely attended to, as it chiefly 
consisted of green carbonate of copper disseminated through a slate 
clay, with small nodules of gray or purple ore appearing here and 
there. In the third, which has been more extensively pursued than 
either of the others, the ore is a very rich sulphuret of copper, con- 
taining from 55 to 65 per cent, of that metal, and, near the surface, 
gave every promise of being a very valuable vein ; but it degenerated 
in depth, and was, as well as the others, relinquished. Lord Audley 
has lately re-opened this vein himself; but whether the undertaking 
will be attented with success remains to be proved. 

In this neighbourhood other veins were also opened by Colonel 
Hall, and one was worked for a short time on an extensive scale ; but 
it has been given up. This enterprising gentleman likewise engaged 
in rather an extraordinary undertaking, that of burning out a bog 
not far from Glandore Harbour, which contained particles of copper ; 
the ashes he shipped for Swansea, and obtained a considerable price 
for them. These particles of copper are supposed to have been con- 
veyed into the bog by a stream from one of the surrounding hills, 
which, passing through^ a copper vein, took them up in a state of 
sulphate, but meeting with some iron ore in its progress, or in the 
bog, became deposited in the metallic state, though a large propor- 
tion contained in the turf was still in a state of sulphate, which was 
proved by allowing a knife to remain in it a few seconds, when it 
became incrusted with a coat of copper. 

This was called by the country people " the Stinking Bog ;" and 
when, for want of other fuel, they were obliged to burn the turf from 
it^ the greatest precaution was used in placing the ashes where their 
fowls, dogs or cats could not get near them, as any offal thrown 

8 8 2 


upon the ashes and eaten by these animals invariably produced 

Several attempts were made, by cross-cutting the strata in the 
vicinity, to discover the original vein, but these efforts were without 
success, and the bog being entirely burnt out, nothing, further has 
been done, although there can be litde doubt but that an extensive 
and rich vein must be somewhere in the neighbourhood. Another 
bog of the same description is distant about a mile from the one just 
mentioned. It belongs to Mr. Jervis, but being of small dimensions 
the expense and trouble of building kilns for the purpose of burning 
it was considered to be too great for the expected produce. 

There are many indications of the existence of copper in the vici- 
nity of Ross Carbery ; one may be seen about two miles from thence, 
close to the Cork road, where green carbonate of copper appears on 
the surface. Continuing along the coast from Ross Carbery to Clo- 
nakilty, there are several excavations where mines have been formerly 
worked, but no distinct account of the period or of their nature can 
•be obtained ; they appear from their rubbish to have contained cop- 
per ore, except one, which was worked by an English company 
about twenty years since, but was relinquished after an insufficient 
trial. This vein consists of galena and blende. 

It was stated by a gentleman of respectability to a friend of mine, 
who has paid much attention to geological pursuits, that, not long 
since, some miners who were sinking in search of copper in the 
vicinity of Clonakilty cut through a rich vein of coal. There is little 
doubt but coal might be found in many other parts of the county 
Cork than the district north of the river Blackwater, to which coal 
works are at present entirely confined, and where the produce can- 
not be of much benefit from the want of water carriage. 

The same observation will apply to the county Kerry, 
search for coal has yet been attempted, although within five miles of 
Killarney, near a place called Five Mile Bridge, three distinct veins 


are perceptible rising to the surface; and I have just learned, with 
much pleasure, that the attention of some of the Welsh coal compa- 
nies has been lately turned towards the South of Ireland. 

Two veins of lead, which had been partially worked before— one, 
near the mouth of Cork Harbour, at Ringabella, on the estate of Mr. 
Hodder ; the other on adjacent property belonging to Lord Shan- 
non — were re-opened in 1822. The latter was shortly after discon- 
tinued ; but the former promised, with skill and attention, to become 
an extensive and profitable concern. 

There are several other mineral appearances in this neighbourhood, 
as well as on the eastern side of the harbour ; but in this necessarily 
limited sketch it would be impossible to take even a passing notici^ 
of each particular spot. In various parts of the counties of Water- 
ford, Wexford and Limerick efforts have been made to work nume- 
rous veins of copper and lead ; but, either from want of the suitable 
means or knowledge of the business, and often both, these under- 
takings have rarely been either successful or permanent. 

In the county Tipperary, at Silver mines, veins of lead have been 
worked at various periods; but mismanagement seems to be the 
order of the day in Ireland, and, at the present moment, not more 
than a few hands are employed at this place, which certainly presents 
strong inducements for the investment of capital to make it an ex- 
tensive mine. Many places may be mentioned where mineral trea- 
sures expose themselves to the view of the passing traveller ; but a 
repetition of circumstances that admit of little or no variation occa- 
sion a tiresome monotony, and enough has probably been said to 
show what an extensive field for speculation and research the south 
of Ireland presents : indeed, as usefiil employment is acknowledged 
to be the grand desideratum in that unhappy country, and as England 
has proved herself so nobly solicitous in every effort to raise the 
indolent and misguided Irish peasantry from their present state of 
wretchedness and discontent, what better opportunity could be 


wished for than this subject presents ? — Companies of wealthy indivi- 
duals might be formed at this side of the Water ; and, if qualified per- 
sons were engaged to superintend the works, such associations would 
not only be attended with every probability of profit to those con- 
cerned, bi^t they would at once administer extensive employment, 
and, no doubt, greatly tend to tranquillize the peasantry. 

There is scarcely a known metal which Ireland has not produced; 
mercury,* tin,'f- platina, and the rarer metals lately discovered in South 
America, are, I believe, the only exceptions. The purity of its gold 
has been long noted, and, judging from the numerous and massive 
ornaments which are almost daily dug up, this metal appears to have 
been manufactured at a very early period. 

Doctor Campbell, in his entertaining Survey of the South of Ire- 
land, particularizes three golden vessels, three ingots weighing about 
a pound, and more than a dozen pieces of gold of various shapes and 
dimensions, which were found in a small bog near Cullen. Some 
more recent discoveries of golden ornaments are mentioned in the 

* Perhaps I am wrong in making this exception : Dr. Boate^ speaking of Silver mines 
in the county Tipperary, says, ** Besides the lead and silver, the mine produced also some 
quicksilver, but not any alom» vitriol or antimony that I could hear of.'^ 

t Major Newenham, in his View of Ireland, mentions tin as found in the county Wick- 
low, on what authority I know not. Dr. Smith, in his History of Kerry, tells us that no 
discovery " to any purpose" had yet been made of tin, although he does not doubt but it 
will, having picked up small specimens of ore which contained tin, at no great distance 
from Killamey. Perhaps the lines of an old poet which he quotes may have given a cer- 
tain bias to the doctor's judgment, sufficient to satisfy him, without minute examination, 
that, to use his own words, '' thus far" were these " ancient verses verified :** 
'' Lough-Lane* in Munster, four strong zones surround : 
With copper first, and next with lead 'tis bound ; 
A third of iron, both these mines inclose. 
Pale tin, the fourth, doth next inviron those." 
It would be presumption in me nor do I mean to assert that tin does not exist in Ire- 
land ; I can only say that I have never seen a native specimen. 

• KiUaraej. 


sixth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy; 
amongst these a small crown which weighed more than a pound. 
The golden crown or cap dug up in 1692 at the Devil's Bit in the 
county Tipperary, and supposed to be still extant, is probably fami- 
liar to the reader from the numerous engravings which have appeared 
of it in various works, from Keating's History of Ireland to Mr. Phil- 
lips's Emerald Isle. 

To enumerate even shghtly the several pieces of ancient wrought 
gold which I have seen at various times in Ireland would occupy 
many pages ; nor do I think that a thousand pounds would purchase 
the entire : most of them have been consigned to the crucible; rings, 
chains, fibulae, tiaras, bracelets, and other articles that completely 
silence conjecture as to their use. 

The best informed and most rational antiquaries strongly oppose 
the idea that the gold manufactured into these relics was native pro- 
duce ; and even the discovery of gold in the county Wicklow has 
not been sufficient to shake their opinions. 

The Croghan, or Gold-mine Mountain, first became publicly known 
in September, 1795, although it had long been a secret source from 
whence a family named Byrne, resident in its vicinity, derived much 
wealth. Six weeks elapsed before a party of the military arrived to 
take possession of it by directions from government, and during this 
time it is calculated that above 10,000/. worth of ore was collected 
and disposed of by the peasantry. The largest piece which is known 
to have been obtained weighed twenty-two ounces and sold for 88/. ; 
indeed, so pure was the metal generally, that it was the custom of 
the Dublin goldsmiths to put gold coin into the opposite scale, and 
give weight for weight. 

After a trial of about five years, supported by an inconsiderable 
grant, the working of Croghan mine was discontinued, as the produce 
appeared to be only barely sufficient to cover the expense incurred ; 
but the scale of this undertaking was altogether so limited that it 


becomes a question of some national importance whether the mine 
has not been given up prematurely. 

Silver was formerly procured in three, out of the four provinces :* 
in Ulster, — in the county Antrim, which mine was, to use the words 
of Dr. Boate, " very rich, forasmuch, as with every thirty pounds of 
lead it yieldeth a pound of pure silver ; another was in Connaught, 
upon the very harbour-mouth of Sligo, in a little demi-island, com- 
monly called Conny Island ; and a third, in Munster." 

The discontinuance of these works was caused by the turbulent 
state of the country : that in Munster has been already mentioned as 
a lead mine ; it was discovered early in the seventeenth century, and 
notice was given to Donough, Earl of Thomond, then Lord Presi- 
dent of Munster, who covered part of his castle, at Bunratty, in the 
county Clare, with lead procured from Silver mines. Lord Straf- 
ford seems to have anticipated favourably of the produce of this 
mine ; and in 1633, besides transmitting to Charles I. an ingot of 
silver which weighed three hundred ounces,'f-- he writes the Lord 

* Major Newenham, in a table given in his View of Ireland* p. 47» which, according to 
his own showing, is one mass of errata* mentions three counties as containing silver* al* 
though in the preceding statement he enumerates four* viz. Cavan* Sligo* Tipperary, and 
the King's County (where there is a silver mine near Edenderry* " but not worked these 
forty years*" 1809): Antrim has been omitted altogether. 

t The following figurative letter accompanied this ingot* which is said to have been the 
first obtained in Ireland : — 

" May it please your Sacred Majesty* 

** With this new year these first-fruits of your royal mines crave admission into your 
Majesty's presence* and let them be the good omens that this kingdom now at length* in 
these latter ages* may not only fill up the greatness and dominion* but even the coffers and 
exchequer of the crown of England. Sure I am it becomes not this little one that her 
breasts should ever be dry, nor ought she with a sparing hand to communicate of her 
strength and wealth there* considering with what mass of treasure and streams of blood 
she hath been redeemed and preserved by that her elder and more excellent sister. 

** May your Majesty's days be as lasting and glorious as the best and purest of metals* 


Treasurer that " the King's duty forth of the royal mines in Munster 
will be 500/. a year, besides what be thence raised forth of the three 
other provinces/' 

Dr. Boate describes the silver of this mine, in the county Tippe- 
rary, as " very fine, so as the farmers sold it at Dublin for 
shilUngs • two-pence sterl: the ounce: — as for the lead, that, they 
sold on the place for eleven pounds sterl: the tun, and for twelve 
pounds at the city of Limerick. The king had the sixth part of the 
silver for his share, and the tenth part of the lead, the rest remaining 
to the farmers, whose clear profit was estimated to be worth 2000/. 
sterl: yearly.'' 

The sequel to this little history of the work at Silver Mines forms 
a dreadful episode of the rebelUon of 1641. 

The Irish, headed by Hugh O'Kennedy, brother of John Mac 
Dermot O'Kennedy, on whose lands the mine was situated, " not 
content to lay waste the mine, and to demolish all the works there- 
unto belonging, did accompany this their barbarousness with bloody 
cruelty against the poor workmen, such as were employed about the 
melting and refining of the ore, and in all offices thereunto belong- 
ing : the which, some of them being English, and the rest Dutch, 
(because the Irish, having no skill at all in any of those things, had 
never been employed in this mine otherwise than to dig it, and to do 
other labours,) were all put to the sword by them, except a very few, 
who by flight escaped their hands." 

Iron is abundant in Ireland. During the comparatively tranquil 
reign of James the First many mines were opened, and iron works, 
particularly in the province of Munster, became exceedingly nu- 

and God Almighty prosper and accomplish all your princely thoughts and counsels, be 
they old or new, 

** Your Majesty's 

*' Most faithful and most humble subject and servant, 
" 2d January, 1633. " Wentworth." 

T T 


merous; but the renewal of warfare, towards the close of his ^ucces* 
sor's reign, proved fatal to the prosperity of these establishments, 
most of which, being the property of English settlers, were wantonly 
demoUshed by the Irish. An improvident consumption of timber 
was also another cause of the discontinuance of many of them, as it 
became impossible to procure the necessary supply of charcoal. 
Those who are curious respecting the details of this subject will find 
nearly two chapters, in Dr. Boate's Natural History of Ireland, de- 
voted to an account ^^ of the iron works, their fashion, charge of 
erecting and maintaining them, and profit coming from them ; with 
an exact description of the manner of melting iron.'' 

Among the rarer minerals may be classed a vein of sulphate of 
Barytes, (commonly called terra ponderosa, from its great specific 
gravity,) situated between Ross Carbery and Clonakilty, part of 
which ijs exposed to view on the coast running into the sea ; it is se- 
veral yards in thickness^ and, from its apparent compactness and 
beautiful white colour^ may not be unworthy the attention of the 
statuary ; as with sufficient tenacity to retain any impression, it is 
likewise soft aoiough to admit of being easily turned or chiselled 
into form. A vein of sulphuret of iron (iron Pyrites) almost adjoins 

There are also other smaller veins of sulphate of Barytes in the 
county Cork. 

I have seen many specimens of Asbestos from Beerhaven. This 
is a singular mineral, which divides into long threads or fibres, and 
is said to have been manufactured into a kind of cloth, capable of 
resisting the action of fire. The specimens at Beerhaven are, how- 
ever, neither sufficiently long or tenacious to admit of being thus 

The Cork amethyst has been already mentioned: crystals of 
quartz,^ some very large and highly transparent, are found in the 
western districts of the county Cork, and on the mountains of Kerry, 

Chap.XVII. mines anb minerals; 523 

particularly in the vicinity of Dingle. By the country people they 
are named Kerry diamonds, from their brilliancy, and, when well 
cut and set, form handsome ornaments. 

A genealogical MS. by a village poet, named Bryan O'Connor, 
is mentioned in the Anthologia Hibernica, in which its author refers 
to his " Poetical Description of Kerry ;" where he celebrates in heroics 
the passion of Thomas, the first Earl of Kerry, for wearing Kerry- 
stones as buttons, having several suits embellished with them: — 

'' Here gems unwrought send forth such lively rays. 
That paler stars confess a feebler blaze ; 
The brilliant mass our noble Lord admir'd. 
The gems he polish'd and new charms inspired : 
And Foreign Courts, tho' envious, forc'd to own. 
He wanted of a Monarch — but the Crown." 

The last mineral I shall notice is the Hydrargillite, called also 
Wavellite, fi'om the circumstance of its discovery in Devonshire 
by Dr. Wavell. This production is of very rare occurrence, having 
before been discovered (exclusive of Devonshire) only in South 
America. It is found about ten miles south of Cork, near Minane 
Bridge, which crosses a small rivulet that falls into the creek of Ring- 
abella. The rocks in the neighbourhood are of a soft schistus or slaty 
nature, and flag-stones, of a tolerable size, are obtained near the 
spot ; the specimens in question have not yet been found connected 
with any rock ; they are dug or ploughed up out of the soil, nor is 
there any adjacent hill from whence they could have been washed 
down. This mineral appears in the form of small globular nodules, 
from the size of a pea to that of a walnut ; each of these nodules is 
composed of thin spiral crystals which radiate from the centre, and, 
when broken, present a silky appearance, generally of a greenish 
hue and translucent at the edges ; but the crystals, when separated, 
possess a considerable degree of transparency, nor do they adhere 

T T 2 


together with much tenacity, being easily separable by the nail, and 
without difficulty reduced to powder. 

It is sometimes disseminated through a hard opaque quartz, and 
sometimes occurs in single nodules, though generally found with 
the nodules conglomerated together. 



'' Then I our own Historians did perose ; 
The Greek and Latin too^ and with the Muse 
I did convene. — 

* * ♦ 

Homer and Virgil^ Horace^ Sophocles 
I read, yet hate none like Thucydides : 
He says democracy's a foolish thing; 
May I have a Republic — he a King !** — 

The Innocent Tn^tof-Wd. 

The literary superiority of Ireland over the rest of Europe, in re- 
mote ages, has been a subject of national exultation. We are told 
of an Establishment at Armagh for seven thousand students; of 
Greek princes who were educated at the University of Lismore, and 
of numerous foreigners having visited the schools of Ireland for in- 

At the EngUsh Conquest, however, Ireland was unquestionably in 
a state of profound ignorance; the pride of her schools and colleges 
had disappeared ; and " to th^ present day,'' says Sir Richard Cox, 
" very few of the Irish aim at any more than a little Latin^ which 
every cow-boy pretends to, and a smattering of logic which very few 
of them know the use of/' This passage, although intended to 
convey little commendation of Irish learning, is certainly a strong 


evidence of a literary taste, and may excite some curiosity to become 
better acquainted with mountaineers who even aim at ^^ a httle 

Amongst the peasantry, classical learning is not uncommon ; and 
a tattered Ovid or Virgil may be found even in the hands of common 
labourers.* In Munster, the village schoolmaster forms a pecuhar 
character; and, next to the lord of the manor, the parson, and the 
priest, he is the most important personage in the parish. His 
*^ academic grove" is a long thatched house, generally the largest in 
the place ; surrendered, when necessary, for the waking of a dead 
body, or the celebration of mass whilst the chapel is undergoing 
repairs ; and on Sundays, when not otherwise engaged, it is used as 
a jig or dancing house. 

The highest class of scholars is composed of men as full grown, 
and often as old as the master himself, distinguished by the name of 
" poor scholars,'' or " strangers." These stfangers are, generally, 
the sons of reduced &rmers and natives of Ulster and Connaught, 
who, having swallowed all the classical information within their im- 
mediate reach, range through the bogs of Munster to complete their 
knowledge of Latin, and to acquire the Greek tongue. The village 
schoolmaster gains little from this class of students; but the glory of 
possessing pupils who, when they return to their native provinces, 
will spread his fame, appears to him an adequate recompense. Nor 
is his generosity confined to their education ; he also contributes hi» 
exertions towards their subsistence, and obtains for them gratuitous 
lodging in some neighbour's cabin. 

The enterprising spirit of these literary adventurers is surprizing ; 
they will start from the home of their infancy — traverse the southern 
parts of the island — visit every village — sojourn in ev«ry school — 

* Caraar, Justin, JUitts> Florence^ Terence, and Herace> are Gkristian names not uo- 
comiQon ii^ the south of Ireland. 


examine every local curiosity, and return to their birth-place, after 
perhaps a year's absence, without having, for that space of time, 
expended, or indeed possessed a single half-crown ; so warm is the 
hospitality of the peasantry, and so high their respect for learning! 
With the schoolmaster, too, it is a matter of special pride te be 
visited irom remote distances ; and it is not unusual to hear the re- 
spectability of a school estimated by the number of its ^^ stranger 

But it may be asked, what can be the object or use of a classical 
education to the children of Irish peasants ? The mass of the popu- 
lation is Roman Catholic* By the penal statutes the wealthier part 
of that persuasion were deprived of their property, and the general 
exercise of their religion subjected to severe penalties and restric- 
tions. In this state of things, the clerical profession had nothing to 
tempt the ambition of ancient Catholic families. It was a life of 
privations, difficulties, and sufferings ; those who enjoyed even com- 
petence would not embrace it, and hence it fell into the hands of 
peasants. The cottager reared one or more of his children in the 
expectation of their obtaining holy orders, and prided himself in the 
hope of seeing one of them, at some future day, the priest of his 
native parish. After wandering in search of learning through the 

* The Bishop of Clonfert^ (1786^ with a liberality equally honourable to his head and 
his heart, writes — ** There are twenty Catholics to one Protestant in my diocese. To 
attempt their conversion, or to think of making them read Protestants books, would be in 
vain. I have, therefore, circulated amongst them some of the best of their own authors, 
particularly one Gother, whose writings contain much pure Christianity, useful knowledge, 
and benevolent sentiments. He wrote eighteen volumes of religious tracts; and died 
about the year I69O. Unable to make the peasants around me good Protestants, I wish 
to make them good Catholics, good citizens, good any thing. I have established, too, a 
Sunday-school, opened to both Protestants and Catholics, at my residence in the country; 
have recommended the scheme to the clergy, and hope to have several on foot in the 
summer. Pastoral works, however, of this nature go on very heavily in a kingdom so 
uqsQtiledA.and so intoxicated with politics as this is." 


country, they made their way to France, Spain, or Portugal; — 
studied, and were ordained in the colleges of these countries, and 
returned to exercise their profession in Ireland, where the Roman 
Catholic clergy are, with few exceptions, sprung from the humblest 
ranks of the people. 

These circumstances, and this feeUng, crowd the country schools 
with learners of the classical languages, and there are few families, 
however lowly their condition, that do not boast a young aspirant for 
clerical distinction. 

To return to the preceptor. In an evening assembly of village 
statesmen he holds the most distinguished place, from his historical 
information, pompous eloquence, and classical erudition. His prin* 
ciples verge very closely indeed on the broadest republicanism ; he 
delivers warm descriptions of the Grecian and Roman common- 
wealths; the ardent spirit of freedom and general equality of rights 
in former days — and then comes down to his own country, which 
is always the ultimate poUtical subject of discussion. He praises 
the Milesians — curses " the betrayer Dermod'' — abuses " the Saxon 
strangers'' — lauds Brien Boru — utters one sweeping invective against 
the Danes, Henry VIII., Elizabeth, Cromwell " the Bloody'' William 
" of the Boyne," and Anne; he denies the legality of the criminal 
code; deprecates and disclaims the Union; dwells with enthu- 
siasm on the memories of Curran, Grattan, " Lord Edward," and 
young Emmet ; insists on Catholic emancipation ; attacks the Peelers, 
horse and foot ; protests against tithes, and threatens a separation of 
the United Kingdoms! These are his principles, which he pro- 
nounces with a freedom proportioned to the patriotic feelings of his 
auditory : before congenial spirits he talks downright treason ; in the 
presence of a yeomanry seijeant, an excise officer, or parson's clerk, 
he reasons on legitimate liberty; he is an enemy to royalty and 
English domination. Nor do these political sentiments confine them- 
selves to the limits of mere declamation : he is frequently the pro- 


moter of insurrectional tumults; he plans the nocturnal operations 
of the disaffected ; writes their threatening proclamations, studiously 
mis-spelled and pompously signed, Captain MoonUght, Lieutenant 
Firebrand, Major Hasher, Colonel Dreadnought; and General Rock, 
Night Errant and Grand Commander of the Order of the Shamrock 

Our schoolmaster is a poet too, and consecrates his powers to the 
diffusion of patriotic aspirations — songs, treasonable, amatory, and 
laudatory, on his " Green Erin," 

'^ Like an emerald set in the ring of the sea." 

Nor are his efiusions confined merely to manuscript, but pass into 
print, and, in the shape of penny ballads, obtain considerable and 
important circulation. 

The songs of the people are always worth attention, and it ap- 
pears to me extraordinary that the most positive treason should for 
many years past have been pubUshed in Ireland, apparently without 
notice. Of about four hundred popular ballads (chiefly printed at 
Limerick) which I purchased without selection, in 1821, more than 
one-third were of a rebellious tendency, particularly a song entitled 
" Cathaleen Thrail,'' (Catherine the Slave,) so is Ireland allegorically 
styled. The first, second, and third verses describe the meeting of 
the author with Cathaleen Thrail, the genius of the country ; the 
fourth, sixth, and part of the last verse I shall copy, on account of 
the prophetic strain which runs through them : — 

" You« Sons of poor Erin, therefore don't fail 
From Cork to Kinsale, and o£f to Cape Clear« 
Come excite your parties, its no time to bewail, 
Tho' bad alterations we've plenty this year; 
Now the year 21 is drawing in by degrees 
In the year ££ the Locusts will weep; 
But in the year £3 well begin to reap 
And divorce the Blach'weed from Cathaleen Thrail. 
U U 


t cioQv«r#ed widi msoy in wj circuit most pleMiiig 
Until I came to my native laud, sweet Donougbmore, 
Tracing old tradition, down from the creation. 
And how the Milesians were conquered of yore! 
How laws were enacted to slacken their force — 
How tk^y were wrongftiUy oppressed and opposed. 
And how they were trodden and tossed by the Toads 
Who made an encroachment on Cathaleen Thrail. 

Good people, take courage, don't perish in fright. 

For Notes will be nothing in the year ^5. 

As I am O'Healy, we then will contrive 

To daily drink beer by laws of Catheleen Thrail!" 

I shall quote a few lines from another song, which was so exten- 
sively sung amongst the lower orders in Dublin, that it must still 
be distinc^y remembered by many; the subject was the Banish- 
ment of Napoleon Bonaparte to Sl Helena: — 

" Now he is confined, and no hope of releasement. 
Before the year twenty-fi?e hell surprize them in earnest. 
This truth we are told» and that by Pastorini» 
That the sword it will fall, and perhaps from St.. Helena. 

Now you that belong to a certain great kingdom, 

I would have you beware lest your fate be impending,*' &c. 

Verses, however, more polished than the foregoing, have been em- 
ployed in the dissemination of the same sentiments, and I venture to 
select one specimen to prove my assertion. 

" Despair not, sweet Erin, thy sun is not set 

In the dark shades of discord — but still there remains 
A hope that ^tw'ill rise in mild splendour as yet, 

A hope that my country may sHiake off her chains ! 
The spirit of Freedom still hovers above 

To foster thy chikbren, and dares to inspire 
Their bosoms with valour, with glory — with love 

The patriot's soul-^and the patriot's fire ! -' 




Modern manuscripts, in the Irish character, may be met with ia 
almost every village, and they are usually the produce of the leisure 
hours of the schoolmaster: there is little variation in their contents, 
which consist of verses wherein Fingal^ O^car, Ossian and St. Patrick 
are important characters. A dialogue in particular between Ossian 
and St. Patrick, in which the latter radeftvours to convert th6 bard 
to Christianity,^ and one of some length between Death and a Sick 
Man, are amongst the most common. In addition to these are found 
translations from the classics, and frequently from some of Dean 
Swift's verses into the Irish, with a variety of receipts, prayers-j^ and 

* '' There are numerous Irish poems/' says Miss Brooke, '' still extant, attributed to 
Oisin, and either addressed to St. Patrick, or composed in the form of a dialogue between 
the Saint and the Poet. In all of them the antiquary discovers traces of a later period 
than that in which Oisin flourished ; and most of them are supposed to be the composi- 
tions of the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries." 
. As a specimen, I copy a translation of the commencement of one of these poems. 


I care not for thee, senseless clerk. 
Nor all thy psalming throng; 

Whose stupid souls, unwisely dark. 
Reject the light of song. 

Unheeding, while it pours the strain. 

With Finian glory swell'd: 
Such as diy thought can scarce contain 

Thine eye has ne'er beheld ! 


O son of Hun ! the Fenii's fame. 
Thou gloriest to prolong; 

While I my heav'nly king proclaim 
In psalm's diviner song! 


Dost thou insult me to my face i 
Does thy presumption dare 

With the bright glories of my race 
Thy wretched psalms compare? 

t In these manuscript books, of which I possess several, the following prayer to 
the Virgin is of frequent occurrence. The fidelity of the translation may be depended 

'^ In praise of the Virgin Mother." 
'* O Jesus Christ, the incorporated vnsdom of God, be my aid!— O blessed Virgin, 
listen unto me — MotHer of the Saviour of the world, assist me — ^Mother of God — Ijodj 
of Heaven— Sweetly beloved Queen — and Advocate of all human lineage, I beseech you 

U U 2 


charms. The possessor of such manuscript regards it with a degree 
of affection bordering on veneration, and only on particular occa- 
sions is it produced. 

To hear the contents of one of these monotonous olios read aloud, 
is considered by the peasantry a treat of the highest order, and 
large numbers will assemble on a winter's evening around the turf 
fire of a farmer's, cabin for that purpose. 

The , merit of such remains of Irish literature as have descended 
to us, is a question which has seldom been examined without pre^ 
judices so violent as to render a just conclusion almost impossible. 
The opinion of Mr. Flood, supported by the bequest of his fortune 
to Trinity College, Dublin, for the purchase of Irish books and 
manuscripts and the cultivation of that language, is often referred 
to ; and Lord Rosse (then Sir Lawrence Parsons) has recorded his 

come ! — Amiable and mild Lady — Lady of Angels — Flower of the Patriarchs — Desire 
of the Prophets — Treasure of the Apostles — ^Mother of the Confessors — Ornament of 
Virgins — O sweet Virgin Mary, pray for me! — Lady, who art heard above the company 
of Angels, preserve me from all evils, past, present, and to come; — do not abandon 
me this day, nor at that dreadful hour when my soul shall be separated from my body, 
but obtain for me. Sweet Virgin, at the time of my death and judgment, that my soul 
may come to the heavenly paradise before your Child Jesus, and that I may be worthy 
to see his grace and everlasting glory with you, O Gate of Paradbe — Palace of Jesus 
Christ — Star of the Sea, Consolation of Mankind — beginning without end ! — Take pity 
on me, O sweet and blessed Virgin Mary — Daughter of God the Father — Mother of 
Jesus Christ, and Spouse of the Holy Ghost. — Gate of Heaven — Door of the Firmament 
— Hope of Christians — Fountain of Piety — Safeguard of Peace — Glory of Virgins — 
Honoured above all Angels — Mother of Mercy — Miracle of Virginity — ^Virgin above all 
Virgins — Temple of the Most Holy Trinity — Beautiful above all creatures! — O Lady 
of Meekness — Abyss of Mildness — Hope of the Sorrowful — Consolation of the Afflicted 
— in you the angels do rejoice! — O sweet Lady of Mercy, turn your merciful eyes unto 
me, and obtain for me, by thy powerful intercession, mercy,, grace, and peace, in this 
life, and eternal happiness in the next. — Amen/' 

By me Edmond Mortpn, 

The Amulet of the Virgin Mary. 


coincidence of opinion in observations, published by his Lordship, 
on Mr, Flood's bequest. 

" Many Irish manuscripts, in the reign of Elizabeth/' says the 
noble writer of this volume, " were in Denmark; many were lately 
in libraries in France, some also in the Vatican : and, if diligent 
search were made, and large prices oflFered, probably many more 
might now be saved from the depredations of time, and which will 
otherwise very soon be lost irretrievably/' Every one must agree in 
the inference drawn from this — that " it is time to save what remain" 
— ^and it would doubtless be desirable that some one, qualified for the 
task, should translate such works as were considered worthy of it. 

Unfortunately, however, the admirers of Irish literature are either 
so learnedly abstruse, or so profoundly ignorant and illiterate, that 
their very commendation is injurious to the cause they advocate. 

The pages of O'Connor and O'Halloran appear,. to use the ex- 
pression of a friend of mine, ^^ marvellously cumbersome /' and the 
illustration of Irish antiquities and verbal derivations by the ^^ erudite 
Vallancey" rather tend to confuse the general reader by their remote- 
ness from the subject, and to confound the unlearned by a display 
of orientalism. 

The late Mr. Joseph Cooper Walker is, perhaps, the most pleasing 
writer on Irish Uterature and antiquity ; but, if the genius of Vallancey 
laboured to derive every thing Irish from the east, so Mr. Walker's 
ingenuity was on the alert to trace its Italian origin, which I have 
been told he afterwards regretted and ascribed to a partiality for 
Italian literature, acquired during his residence on the continent. 

The ReUcs of Irish poetry, by Miss Brooke, is an exception to 
my former remark ; and, had the volume in question been written at 
a different period, when the antiquarian junto formed by Vallan- 
cey, O'Halloran, and O'Flanagan, and supported by Messrs. Walker, 
Beaufort and Ousley, was less despotic in the circle of Hibernian 
belles-lettres, it would have been a performance of the first class: 


As it is, this work will continue to hold an eminent place when the 
productions of those who condescend to patronize the writer, are 
forgotten, or remembered only as collections of ill-digested fables. 

The more ancient Irish manuscripts are the Monkish Chronicles; 
of some of these, the names only have descended to us : they are 
generally called after the monastery in which they were written, and 
those most frequently quoted are the Psalter of Cashel — The Annals 
of Innisfallen — ^The Ulster Annals — ^The Book of Ballymote and the 
Annals of the Four Masters ; but to any of these I believe it impos- 
sible to assign, with certainty, an earlier date than the thirteenth or 
fourteenth century ; and it is a question if the original of one of these 
manuscripts is now in existence : copies of them are preserved, and 
may be found in various Ubraries, both at home and abroad. 

A manuscript of some antiquity was found, about six or seven 
years since, in an iron chest, which was discovered on taking down 
one of the walls of Lismore Castle. If I remember correctly, it was 
on vellum, of large folio size, well written in double columns, and 
nearly half of the outside column, from top to bottom, had been 
cut oflF, or destroyed by fire : it appeared to contain about two hun- 
dred pages, and was clumsily bound in oak. 

The volume passed through the hands of several persons in Cork, 
some of whom were both poor and illiterate ; and I mention the 
circumstance, as it possibly may lead to some inquiry respecting this 

Although we feel anxious for the preservation of such relics, yet it 
almost appears an idle ^' amor patriae"' to suppose that Irish literature 
or history can suffer, even by the total loss of the legendary records 
of an age of ignorance and superstition. 

The overabundant use of epithet is a striking peculiarity of most 
compositions in the Irish language : by some writers this has been 
ascribed to the nature and structure of the language ; by ethers, to 
the taste of the people. In a conversation which I once had with 


soiQe Irish scholarsi I well remember one of them stepping forward 
in the formidable gesture of an excited orator, and addressing me in 
an exalted tone of voice in defence of epithets. " Worshipftd Sir/' 
said he, with outstretched arm, " these epithets are numerous in the 
original Irish, because they are enlivening and expressive, and are 
introduced by historians to decorate their histories, and to raise the 
passions of the reader. Thus were the youth at once instructed in 
the grand records of their lofty nation, — in eloquence of style — and 
in sublimity of composition V 

Picture this declaration coming from a poor, ragged schoolmaster, 
or, as he styled himself, " Philomath," whose miserable habitation, of 
sods, cemented with mud, and constructed in a ditch, scarcely seemed 
a human abode : yet, before the door of this hovel, surrounded by a 
group of admiring compeers and disciples, he harangued, with 
almost the energy of inspiration, on the superiority of the literature 
of his country ; declaring, '^ that some scribbling pretenders to know- 
ledge had made it a determined point and standing rule to calum- 
niate and throw as much dirt as they could on Irish history, laws, 
and morals; thereby imagining that they did a mighty piece of ser^ 
vice to England and the King of England, by traducing the people^ 
who were once the terror of the Danes, and who gave kings to Scot- 
land, and even to England itself/' 

As a fair example of the use of epithets, the following literal trans- 
lation of some well-known Irish verses may be produced. 

" Mineid (in Irish, Moighneid) the son of Deirg, and Goll, the 
active, the magnanimous and martial son of Moirne, met in this 
dreadful field of slaughter : the contest between these two intrepid 
champions was furious, foaming and frightful — manly, mighty and 
mortal, insomuch that broken, battered and gory were the corslets, 
shields and helmets of those impetuous chiefs ; and their beamy 
swordis of broad metal did wide-spread havoc in the strained grasp 
of their sinewy arms.'' 


Miss Brooke, in the preface to her Relics of Irish Poetry, extols 
the copiousness of the language, and remarks, that '* the number of 
synonyma, in which it abounds,^' enables the poet *^ to repeat the 
same thought without tiring the fancy or the ear f' and mentions, as 
an illustration, ^' that there are upwards of forty. names to express a 
ship ; and nearly an equal number for a house/^ 

Specimens are afforded to us, in this volume, of the Ode, Elegy 
and Song ; and, to prevent doubt, the originals are given, with trans- 
lations, elegantly versified, and Uteral in the extreme. 

Most Irish odes are ascribed to Oisin, the same person as 
Mac Pherson's Ossian, whose well-known poems they resemble in 
style and subject. A similar mistiness to that in which many of his 
heroes are clothed,'envelopes the identity of this bard, whose personal 
history is as imaginary and undefined as the descriptions contained 
in the verses attributed to him. These odes represent the kings and 
chiefs as terrific in war, and fond of the chase ; in short, excelling 
in those virtues and qualifications esteemed by Indian nations at this 
day, and possessing, in addition, a great love for song and banquets. 
Little more than a savage splendour can be discovered in these ban- 
quets, notwithstanding the vaunting assertions respecting ancient 
Irish civilization, for which similar bardic or monkish verses are the 

Irish songs are abundant and may be easily procured, but few 
have been committed to paper : this may be ascribed to two causes ; 
first, being short compositions, they are easily remembered, and 
secondly, their treasonable nature. Many of these songs are ex- 
tremely comic, from a richness of humour delivered with a peculiar 
quaintness, which it is impossible to convey in translation. Allusions 
to the Greek and Roman mythology are occasionally introduced with 
propriety and good taste, but more frequently in the most absurd way : 
one village bard has described his mistress as looking ^^just like Venus 
or Jove" 


Passages, closely imitated from the classics, may be observed in 
many Irish verses. The resemblance between the commencement 
of Carolan's Song on Mable Kelly, and one of Sappho's Fragments 
is evident ; and Fitzgerald's Ode to his Ship on leaving Dunboy 
was doubtless suggested by the third Ode of Horace. 

The following translation of a spirited Irish song, which has not 
before been printed, may be worth preserving : it was composed for, 
or on, some of the piratical sept of O'Driscoll, a clan that, with the 
O'SuUivans, possessed a considerable part of the coast of the county 
Cork, and urged their trade of maritime plunder to such a formidable 
and fearless extent, as to rival the Algerines, who became jealous of 
them, and made a descent, in 1631, on their country ; burning Balti- 
more, the principal town belonging to the O'DriscoUs, and carrying oflF 
the inhabitants into slavery. This event created the greatest conster- 
nation in Ireland, and more effectually checked the piracies of the 
O'Driscolls than the repeated expeditions fitted out against them by 
the city of Waterford ; as they appeared only to become more daring 
after each attack, notwithstanding the destruction of their vessels and 
the ruin of their castles. 

Our oars we ply» when seas run high. 

And loud the winds are roaring, 
Now down the depths^ now up the sky. 

On eagle billow soaring ! 

And when we hail, the gender gale. 

With glee our stout hearts glowbg. 
Abroad we spread the spritted sail. 

And catch it while 'tis blowing. 

For us enough, or fair or blu£f. 

Waves calm or wildly foaming. 
So we may launch, thro' smooth or rough. 

Adventurously roaming ! 

X X 


Unknown to (ear, the Buccanier, 

Self-crown'd the Ocean Ranger, 
Blow high — blow low — his course will steer. 

His element is danger! 

Descriptions of female beauty are often very pleasing in the Irish : 
part of the song, already mentioned, on Mable Kelly, by Carolan, 
which has been sweetly versified by Miss Brooke, may serve as an 

" As when the softly blushing rose 
Close to some neighbouring lily grows. 
Such is the glow thy cheeks diffuse 
And such their bright and blended hues ! 

The timid lustre of thine eye 
With nature's purest tints can vie. 
With the sweet blue-bell's azure gem 
That droops upon its modest stem ! 

« ♦ # 

Even he whose hapless eyes no ray 
Admit from beauty's cheering day. 
Yet, tho' he cannot see the light. 
He feels it warm, and knows it bright!" 

In a composition of an earlier date, we find the following. 

" On her soft cheek, with tender bloom. 
The rose its tint bestowed. 
And in her richer lips' perfume, 
The ripen'd berry glowed. 

Her neck was as the blossom fair. 

Or like the cygnet's breast. 
With that majestic graceful air. 

In snow and softness drest. 

Gold gave its rich and radiant die. 

And in her tresses flowed. 
And like a freezing star, her eye 

With heaven's own splendour glowed." 

Chap- XVm. LITEEATUEE. 839 

Miss Brooke gives a striking, and to me, novel simile from one of 
Carolan^s songs, composed for Miss Mary O'Neil. " Her eyes (says 
he) are to her face, what a diamond is to a ring ; throwing its beams 
around, and adorning the beauty of the setting/' The fine expres- 
sion of ^ the mind illumined face'' is a favourite one in Irish verse ; 
and amongst the most generally used comparisons, is that of Maiden's 
Lip— to the Wild Strawberry. 

The description of Bridget Brady, by her lover Thaddeus Ruddy, 
a bard who lived about the middle of the seventeenth century, is 
perhaps unique as a specimen of local simile. 

'' She's as straight as a pine on the mountains of Kilmannan^ 
She's as feir as the lilies on the banks of the Shannon ; 
Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms of Drumcallan, 
And her breasts gently swell like the waves of Lough Allan; 
Her eyes are as mild as the dews of Dunsany, 
Her veins are as pure as the blue-bells of Slaney; 
Her words are as smooth as the pebbles of Terwinny, 
And her hair flows adown like the streamlets of Finny." 

I recollect once having seen a curious Irish Romance, (to which 
Miss Brooke alludes in a note,) where the heroine is introduced to 
the hero by means of a series of comparisons. This lady, of course 
a princess, looking from the window of her chamber one wintry day, 
saw a raven feeding on some animal that had been recently killed, 
and the marks of whose blood tinged some newly fallen snow. " Is 
there any one in the world,'' asked this princess of her attendant, 
" whose hair is black as that raven's wing, whose complexion is as 
pure as that blood, and whose skin is as fair as that snow ?'' To this 
her highness's attendant replies in the affirmative ; and, in order to 
convince the princess, who, in consequence of some old druidical 
prophecy, had been shut up all her life in a dismal tower, secredy 
introduces a handsome young prince to her apartment : on their first 
meeting, they are deeply in love with each other ; he carries her off*— 
and so commences their eventful history ! 

X x3 


These romantic tales are abundant ; but there is a great poverty 
of fancy and sameness of incident in them, notwithstanding Spencer's 
commendation : " Yea truly/' says the poet, in his View of Ireland, 
^' I have caused divers of them to be translated unto me that I might 
understand them, and surely they savoured of sweet wit and good 
invention/' Fingal and Ossian generally perform leading parts, and 
the adventures of a chief detained by spells in a magician's power, 
and a lady transformed into a swan or a deer, whose natural form is 
restored on the introduction of Christianity, are amongst the most 
common. On the latter fiction Mr. Moore has founded the song of 
" Silent, O Moyle" in his Irish Melodies ; but the less refined author 
of " Hesperi-neso-graphia" gives us, in a few lines, all the spirit of 
this tedious legend : 

'* The next strange story which his ears 
Receiv'd, was of some wolves and bears. 
Who once were men of worth and fame. 
But bj enchantment brutes became ; 
And would (if tales sung truth) obtain 
Their former human shape i^ain. 
That then, through all the western ground. 
The crooked harp with joy shall sound ; 
And that a monarch of their own 
Shall sit upon the western throne. 
And drive from thence by force, all those 

That would his powerful arms oppose/* ^ 

* * • # 

It has been said that a similarity of feeling exists between the 
music and poetry of Ireland, as in common both excel in the expres- 
sion of plaintive sorrow ; 

" And sure if to thy harp belong 
One dearer-— one exclusive tone. 
The mournful cadence of thy song 
Proclaims the chord of grief thine own." 


Hence the Irish elegy is considered to be superior to heroic com- 
positionsy from the variety of tender and endearing appellations with 
which the language abounds. Amongst the elegies given by Miss 
Brooke, that ascribed to Edmund Ryan, or Ned of the Hills as he 
was familiarly styled, is worthy of being better known. 

Ryan, according to tradition, was one of the partizans of James 
II., and the confiscation of his estate followed the defeat of that 
monarch at Boyne. Obliged to retire before the victorious forces of 
William, Ryan headed a party of freebooters termed Rapparees. To 
a miniL capable of producing compositions of exquisite pathos, how 
revolting must the association with a gang of lawless plunderers 
have been ! Many songs are still extant in Ireland, attributed to 
Ned of the Hills, and a beautiful popular melody is distinguished by 
his name. 

The elegy translated by Miss Brooke is addressed by Ryan to his 
mistress, who appears to have forsaken him on his loss of fortune. 
Although I have quoted so largely from the ReUcs of Irish poetry, I 
cannot resist copying a few stanzas. 

*' Bright her locks of beauty grew« 
Curling fair and sweetly flowing. 
And her eyes of smiling blue, 

Oh how soft — ^how heavenly glowing ! 

Ah poor plundered heart of pain. 

When wilt thou have an end of mourning ; 
This long, long year I look in vain 

To see my only hope returning i 

# ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Why art thou fake to me and love ? 

(While health and joy with thee are vanished) 
Is it because forlorn I rove. 

Without a crime, unjustly banish'd I 

# # ♦ • 


Why do I thus my anguish tell — 

Why pride in woe — why boast of ruin i 
Oh ! lost treasure, fare thee well, 

Lov'd to madness — to undoing ! 

Yet oh hear me fondly swear — 

Though thy heart to me is frozen. 
Thou alone, of thousands fair, 

Thou alone should'st be my chosen ! 

Every scene with thee would please. 
Every care and fear would fly me. 
Wintry storms and raging seas 

Would lose their gloom if thou wert nigh me. 

♦ « # * 

Such, oh Love ! thy cruel power. 

Fond excess and fatal ruin ; 
Such, oh Beauty's fairest flower. 

Such thy charms and my undoing ! 

. The Ibemo-Celtic Society, recentlj established in Dublin for the 
preservation of Irish literature, have published, under the title of 
their Transactions, a Chronological Account of Irish Writers, with a 
Catalogue of their Works. This is not an uninteresting volume, 
although it abounds in historical and literary inaccuracies, which 
would be more pardonable had the compile or editor commented 
with less severity on the errors of others ; one example may serve : 
speaking of Carolan — " Some accounts of the life of this bard,^' says 
the editor, " have been pubhshed by different authors ; but all are 
erroneous so far as relates to the place of his nativity and some cir- 
cumstances belonging to his early life. The biographers of O'Carolan, 
say, * He was bom in the village of Nobber, in the county of West 
Meath, on the lands of Carlanstown, which were wrested from his 
ancestors by the family of the Nugents on their arrival in this king- 
dom in the reign of Henry II.' ' He must be deprived of sight at a 
very early period of his life, for he remembered no impression of 

Chap, XVUL literatuee. 343 

colours/ In these two short extracts there are nearly as msny false- ^ 
hoods as Unes ; and yet these errors have been repeated in a History 
of ^ Irish Worthies' lately published in London. This is inexcusable 
in an editor who had the means of obtaining better information/' &c. 
After some vaunting remarks we come to a breathless continuity of ..^ 
negatives to these assertions. 

" Torlogh O'Carolan, then, was not bom in Nobber ; nor is Nob- 
ber on the lands of Carlanstown ; nor is Carlanstown in the county 
West Meath ; neither did the Nugents ever wrest those lands from 
the ancestors of Carplan ; nor was he deprived of sight so early in 
life as to have no recollection of colours.'' The result, however, of 
the ensuing half page devoted to correct this important matter is that 
Carolan was bom at Newton, a small village three miles and a half 
from Nobber J and that, on entering his fifteenth year, he lost his sight 
in consequence of the smallrpox. I will now venture to point out 
one or two errors which struck me on glancing over the Transactions 
of the Ibemo-Celtic Society, 

" In 1565, Donald McCarthy, created first Earl of Clancarty," is 
mentioned as the author of some poems. It will be remembered by 
the reader that this title was first bestowed on the M'Carthies by 
Charles II., on account of the services of Lord Muskery, whose 
actions were conspicuous during the revolutionary events subsequent 
to 1641. Again, John McDonald, or Shane Claragh, is stated to 
have presided at the Munster Bardic Sessions held at Charleville in 
the county Cork, in 1755. The inscripti6n on his tomb, copied at 
page 102 of this volume, proves him to have died in 1754 ; and I 
beUeve it will be found that the Munster Bardic Sessions or Meetings 
were held at Brury in the county Limerick, and not at Charleville 
in the county Cork. These instances may be suflGlcient to establish 
the statement I have made of inaccuracy, and I have been induced 
to notice them in case the next volume of Transactions may question 
my correctness in these particulars. 


It is almost impossible for any historical or topographical work to 
be free from error, and individually I beg to acknowledge the advan- 
tages I have derived from the volume, on some details of which I 
have ventured to remark ; but it must be felt that the repetition of 
such trivial errors as those in the biography of Carolan did not call 
for the application of coarse and ungenerous epithets. Under any 
circumstances, it is a degrading and iUiberal retort of a public body 
to depreciate the labours of a young man who pubUshed a valuable 
and useful book, ^^ The Irish Worthies,^^ without assistance in the 
compilation, and under the most disheartening and unaccountable 
neglect. It is only necessary for me to state a fact which has come 
within my own knowledge, that Mr. Ryan, who is an EngUshman, 
was allowed by two noblemen, for some months, a certain number 
of franks to enable him to soUcit information from individuals resi- 
dent in Ireland, and who might naturally be supposed to feel an 
interest in his undertaking. Of an incredible number of letters 
so addressed, I beheve not more than three received any reply ; but 
this was not all ; insult was added to contempt, and Mr. Ryan^s 
letters, in some instances, after being opened, were inclosed back to 
him, for the satisfaction of causing him to pay double postage ! 


Y Y 

The foUowiag Narrative was written without any view to publication, and was 
transmitted to me by its amiable writer, to whom my thanks are due for the kind and 
friendly manner in which she granted me permission to insert it in this work. 


Summerseat, Co. Wexford, 
May, 1798. 

JVIy Dear Friend, 

I FEAR we are in a most alarming situation. We 
have just had dreadful accounts from Naas — the rebels have defeated and 
killed Captain Swayne, of Youghall. Nancy Owen, in a letter of this day, 
says, that there are hundreds giving up fire-arms and pikes ; but notwith- 
standing the country wears a most alarming appearance. My father laughs 
at the idea of danger; but I strongly suspect we are surrounded by rebels 
and spies. Yesterday, rather a genteel looking man came up the lawn to 
me, and said he wished much to have the pleasure of instructing a few 
young ladies in geography, and begged I would allow him to teach my 
family. I told him my daughters were too young, and that I did not think 
he was likely to get any pupils in the neighbourhood. This day, as I was 
walking in the shrubbery near the road, I looked out, on hearing a number 
of horses, and saw the same young man under an escort going to jail, from 
information sent to Mr. Boyd by government. There was found upon 
him a plan of all our houses, the names and number of the inhabitants, and 
a copy of " Paine's Age of Reason." Mrs. Harvey, our near neighbour, 
has got a guard to sleep at Killeen Castle; we supped with her last night, 
and an express was sent for the gentleman who commanded the party. — 
My father is still incredulous ! 



Whit'Sunday. — Just returned from church. In our way there, we met 
the Wexford cavalry escorting Mr. Colclough (pronounced Cokeley) and 
Mr. Bagnal Harvey to jail ; they are both gentlemen of good fortune in this 
barony. What a task for Captain Boyd! both men at whose houses he was 
in habits of intimacy. Where will all this end? I want my father to come 
to Dublin, but he seems determined to be blind and de^ to what is going 
on. At church Mr. Be van hurried over the communion-service, and told 
us he was not without his fears that we should be surrounded by rebels 
while at the communion table. I am told the whole country is up. Mr. 
Bevan saw the smiths openly at work in their forges making pikes, though 
Whit-Sunday. On our way home we met Mrs. Percival's carriage driving 
furiously ; the coachman would scarcely wait to tell us that he had left 
some of the children in Wexford, and was returning for his mistress and 
the rest of the family \ as an express had arrived that there were seven 
thousand rebels within three miles of the town. I will continue to write, 
and collect all for to-morrow's post. Mrs. Percival and several others are 
getting off to England, caring little for accommodation, if they can obtain 
any kind of a boat. — This is truly alarming. — Mr. Percival is high sheriff. 
The North Cork and the Wexford yeomanry and cavalry are sent for to 
rout the rebels. In vain do I implore my father even to come to Wexford. 

Whit'Sunday Evening. — Every moment becomes more frightful. An ac- 
count has just arrived that the North Cork are all put to death, in an en- 
gagement with the rebels. The unfortunate soldiers' wives are screaming 
through the streets of Wexford; every creature that appears is put under 
arms : and the thatch is stripped off all the cabins in the suburbs of the 
town. Enniscorthy is burned, and the inhabitants are pouring into Wex- 
ford. Women of fortune, half-dressed, some having neither shoes nor stock- 
ings, with their children on their backs and in their arms, are in this state 
endeavouring to get on board ship. I am told there never was a more 
dreadful scene than Wexford at this moment exhibits. I am assured that 
only four out of the North Cork have escaped the fury of the rebels: one 
hundred have been put to death. Major Lombard, whom I think you knew, 
has fallen a victim. I am told the post cannot proceed to Dublin ; as the 
roads are all occupied by rebels. Captain Boyd has sent to Waterford 
for the 13th Regiment. Thank heaven, I wrote to poor Mr. A. and Letty 


Kynaston yesterday; this will a little relieve them; but when I shall again 
be able to write, God only knows. What dreadful anxiety they must 
be in I' 

Whit'Monday. — A report to day that the 13th have been taken prisoners 
by the rebel army, and that Mr. Colclough and Mr. B. Harvey have been 
sent to the rebel camp to compromise with the rebel leaders — a compro- 
mise with rebels seems strange to me! So far I had written last Tuesday 
— ^what I have suffered since I cannot describe. On Wednesday the army 
and all the loyalists fled ; we saw them on the hill to the left of our house^ 
— Can you believe it, my father still perseveres in making light of it; or- 
dered his horses, and would have rode into the town, but for some ladies 
that were flying from it, who assured him the rebels were in full possession! 
Whilst he was away, I had his bed, what things of value I could collect, 
and a basket of cold meat, put on a car, and sent to the strand, where 
Hayes, my fathers gardener, went to secure a boat. The servant I had 
^8ent with the basket of bread and wine was not allowed to go far before 
he was knocked down and the basket taken from him. When my poor 
father returned, he seemed quite subdued: I told him my plan, that the 
boat was ready, and that we had a chance of getting on board ship, as 
several vessels were lying-to. He consented, and we got into a boat, many 
of the peasantry forcing their way to come with us. When we got off a 
little, we found it impossible to gain a ship, and were advised by our gar- 
dener who rowed us, with another of our servants, (neither of whom had 
ever rowed before,) to make for an island a few miles distant, and remain 
there till we could get some further intelligence of affairs in Wexford. 
Whilst debating on this subject we saw a boat full of men, with green 
boughs in their hats, and a white handkerchief displayed as a rebel flag. 
They soon got up to us, and said, '* if you will go home and turn Christians, 
you will be safe enough." This speech conveyed a great deal; I thought 
I should have fainted ; but was soon roused by their vociferations, to put 
back — to return directly — that all was peace and liberty — that they had 
chaired Dr. Jacob* — that " he was thdr mayor, though he was your' s before." 
I begged, however, to prefer the liberty of the island till the first fury of 
the mob abated; but a Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock, who were with us, said 

* Dr. Jacob had been Mayor of Wexford. 

350 APPENDlk. 

they would return. We soon landed on the island, and there I found 
many of the peasantry who had made their escape at an earlier part of 
the day. We had brought plenty of cold provisions with us, and as those 
poor people had contrived to light a fire, and were boiling their potatoes, 
I had the comfort of being able to add a large piece of cold roast beef, their 
enjoyment of which gave me a momentary pleasure. Night was now ap- 
proaching ; where to place my father*s bed was my next object : there was 
scarcely a bush on the island : at length, however, I discovered a friendly 
thorn-tree, on which I threw temporary curtains over his bed, into which he 
went with as much devotion as if lying down in his best bedchamber. I 
put my two dear children at one side of him, and sat at the other to 
keep the clothes over him; but was soon roused from every thought, except 
of present danger. I heard the dashing of oars, and a whispering amongst 
the people on the island: I had hoped we were in security at least till 
morning, as they all told me no one could land till the tide was full in; but 
what was my horror when the oars ceased, and, by the dim light, I saw a 
man walking towards me ! he seized hold of my arm, and desired me not 
to be alarmed. I could scarcely breathe from terror, when poor Hayes 
said, '^ don't be frightened. Madam! it is I — happy am I that you are here; 
it was scarcely night when a party of rebels came to Summerseat, insisted 
on admittance, fired several shots over the hall door, went up to all the 
bed-rooms in search of arms, and said, if I concealed an Orangeman they 
would have my life; they then swore me into their gang, broke open the 
cellar, took away all the wine, and five bacon pigs; such a wreck as they 
have made of the place, madam! they had six carts with them; I could 
scarcely prevail on them to let me remain after them." You may think 
how happy I felt at this temporary escape, though almost the moment 
before I had reproached myself when looking at my dear father asleep on 
the ground. I begged of our faithful Hayes to return, and try to save what 
he could, and to come for us in the morning, as I saw the impossibility of 
remaining where there was no shelter of any kind. " I will. Madam, but" — 
" But what, Hayes? speak out!" " Why, Madam, they did say, they 
would come in the morning and bum the house !" He then pointed out to 
me many distant fires. I really felt as if my head would burst in consider- 


ing what was best to be done : at length I determined on his returning 
as early as he could. My father did not awaken till six in the morning; 
his two companions kept pace with him, and slept all night. I told him of 
Hayes's having been with me, and that I expected his return every moment; 
that I feared we could do nothing but go back to Summerseat, if it had 
not shared the same^ fate with several houses in the country. 

All chance of getting a vessel to take us to Wales was over: some of the 
unfortunate persons who thought themselves happy in making their escape^ 
were brought back to Wexford, and delivered up to the rebels ! The larga 
and respectable family of Killeen Castle escaped being put into the com* 
mon jail only because there was no room for them; but they were put into 
an old empty house, and a guard placed over them. The first sight that 
presented itself to them was the Bull- ring (a square in Wexford so called) 
filled with kitchen tables and carpenters at work making pike handles. 
Mrs. Clifie has since told me that the captain's wife came up to her on 
deck, a little after they had got on board, and said, she hoped to be up to her 
knees in protectant blood before night ! that she had a brace of pistols in the 
belt of her gown, and swaggered up and down, repeating this horrid wish 

But to return to our own distress. — My father bore my intelligence 
astonishingly, and agreed to return the moment Hayes came for us. The 
poor fellow lost no time, when the tide answered; and he brought us word 
the house was safe, and that no one had returned to it. 

We got once more into the boat. When we reached the shore near 
enough to discern objects, we discovered hundreds of rebels, and, on a 
closer view, saw that they were all armed. I besought Hayes to turn 
back to the island ; and here I must acknowledge it was my impious hope, 
that the boat might upset, and end all our cares together. But I had soon 
reason to adore that Providence I had dared for a moment to distrust. The 
rebels called out to us to land : almost petrified with horror, I looked at 
my poor father and children, expecting that the moment we landed we 
should be put to death. Hayes, with a countenance as full of horror as my 
own, endeavoured to quiet my fears: but what was my surprize, when, the 
moment I got out of the boat, a man came up and shook hands with me. 


desiring me not to be frightened ; that he was Captain Butler, ^md would 
protect me as long as he could; that he would order a Serjeant's guard home 
with. me. '' I know you very well; I was coachman to Mrs. Percival, and 
you were very kind to me the last day she went to see you; it was a wet 
day, and you ordered me a warm drink." He then turned round to select 
our guard from the hundreds that surrounded him. They were all con- 
tending for rank, wielding their guns, blunderbusses, and swords, in the 
most frightful manner. I expected every moment the contents would be 
fatal to us, from accident if not design; they were all drunk. At length 
they fixed on the guard to attend us home ; one calling himself captain; 
another saying he was head lieutenant; and in mock procession they 
marched us towards Summerseat; but, before we were half-way, I found 
myself unable to proceed, and begged to stop at my neighbour's, Mr. Wood- 
cock's, whose family had at first accompanied us to the island, but had 
returned, depending on the assurance of liberty which had been given 
them. On our arrival at Mr. Woodcock's, we found the family in the 
greatest consternation and dismay : they had been up all night, at the mercy 
of several parties of the rebels, who came repeatedly, and examined every 
part of the house, possessing themselves of every thing they chose to take. 
The moments Mrs. Woodcock had to herself she employed in hiding flour, 
and any thing she could collect in the way of food, in the chimneys and 
roof of the house. Many of the rebels had threatened her, with a pistol at 
her breast, that if she had arms or Orangemen concealed, she should pay 
for it with her life. Whilst she was tremblingly recounting this to me, 
we saw a party, who had joined our guard, approaching towards the house 
with carts. Mr. Woodcock went out immediately, to meet them: they 
obliged him again to open all his bams and offices, (Mr. W. was a respect- 
able farmer, and a quaker,) out of which they filled their carts with flour, 
potatoes, &c. Not content with this, they insisted on coming into the 
house; and crowded up stairs, where Mrs. Woodcock and family, with 
my. poor dear father and children, were waiting in terror their departure. 
On hearing them approach us, I actually pushed my father and children 
behind a bed, but by the time the rebels reached the room, I. dragged 
them out again, fearing, had they found them hiding, it would have made 


them more desperate. I stood before them^ when again my friend. Captain 
Butler, came up to me and said no harm should happen to me, and begged 
I would tell his mistress that, as long as he was Captain, he would protect 
the house; he believed she had got o£f to England, but he did not know 
what was become of his master, the high sheriff; however he was done with 
that now. The party examined every wardrobe, chest, and <iloset in the 
house; and one of them said, on going aiway, we have used you very we^J, 
but the next party is coming to bum all your houses. With what horror 
did we hear them! We looked at each other, without the power of utter- 
ance for many minutes^ At length I said any thing was better than to be 
burned to death, and that we must do the best we could at the island, at 
least for a short time, till the fury of the day was over, I helped Mrs* 
Woodcock to collect as much as we could take with us; and though our 
own house was within a few fields distance^ I was afraid to venture for any 
thing belonging to us. 

With some diflSculty we again embarked, and were rowed towards the 
island, but the tide was not sufficiently in for us to land ; and while we 
were watching with impatience the covering of every rock or pebble, as 
we lay on our oars, we discovered a boat nlaking fast towards us: as it 
approached we perceived the men were all armed. Dearest Susan, un- 
<:onscious of danger, entertained us all by her droll remarks on them ; 
—never was such a child; she really appeared more delightful than ever, 
and, I am certain, exerted herself to rouse us all from the stupor we were 
thrown into. At length the boat came near, the men called to us to know 
what we were doing there. Hayes answered, that we were going to the 
island, as soon as we could land. They called out, in one voice, " go back, 
go back; if you dont we will sink you : we want the island to put cattle 
on for our camp." Remonstrance was in vain, — " go home (said they) Qr 
to jail — ^take your choice." We were obliged to obey; and we arrived at 
Summerseat in about four hours ; there we found every thing in the utmost 
confusion; all the servants had departed, except one faithful creature, who 
welcomed us with tears of joy. She had determined to stay till the last 
moment, and lamented that she had been of so little use. She told me 
th6 beds had been taken, the feathers thrown about the yard, and 'the tick- 
ing used as bags to carry off the clothes, curtains, &c. with the greater 

854 APPEKDnc. 

extieditioii. I obsemd that my beaatifiil getaniums were all broken to 
jpieces. Poor Alley turned to me, with a dismal countenance, and said, 
'' I wish you had nothing else to be sorry far : they have taken your guitar, 
and thumped Miss Susan's piano so violently, I was afraid they would 
break it to pieces; they desired I would get a rope to tie it on a car, but 
every strap and rope had been taken: to this I owe the safety of the dear 
child's, piano/' — ^What to do for beds I knew not; but so soon as it was 
known that we were returned, one of the rebels, who had lived near Sum- 
merseat, came to me, and said, *' Madam, I have four of your beds; Grod 
forbid you should sleep without one; I will bring them to you when it's 
dark : I took them off a cart at the cross-road, and swore I would let no 
one take them, till I heard you were entirely gone.'' Poor honest crea- 
ture! he brought them as he promised. In constant dread did we live, with 
parties riding up at all hours, coming and taking their seat in the drawing- 
room, sans ceremonie, till the 2d of June, when my faithful Alley burst into 
the room where I was; she was pale as death. '' What's the matter. 
Alley ?" '' Oh, my dear mistress, I wish I had died the first day I saw 
you." She continued sobbing and clasping me to her, and was a length 
of time before she could bring herself to tell me there was a party coming 
to take us to jail. I dropped on the floor, and the first recoUiection I 
had of any thing, for some time, was seeing my father and children hang- 
ing over me, and hearing them thank God my colour was returning. I 
jumped up, with a confused idea of what Alley had told me ; said I was a 
little sick, and would go into the air. In a few minutes I saw a large 
party ride into the lawn: I hurried into the house, to prepare my dear 
father for what he would too soon hear from these people. I assumed 
as much composure as I was capable of, and told my father the party 
coming were to take him to jail, but that no power should separate us ; 
I would go with him, and take my children. He calmly said, " was it that 
made you faint, my dear?" Then standing up, he put his hand upon his 
thlroat, and said, " I am ready fbr them: I am surprized the army has not 
been sent to our relief; but God's will be done." I walked about the house in 
a state of distraction; but my children behaved with much good sense; when 
they did speak, endeavouring to comfort me, assisting me as much as tJiey 
^ete able, and hiding their own fears to keep up my spirits, which weie 


indeed much agitated by this fresh shock. In a few minutes a party of 
^ty men, armed with blunderbusses and pistols, arrived, and made their 
way to the room in which my father was. I found him with a large 
Prayer Book in his hand reading the pn^yer for (he Universal Catholic 
Church: this had little effect on them, and remonstrance had less. One of 
titiem said to me, '^ Mr. Owen ]\bs been favoured more than any gentleman 
in the barony : you should have sent for the priest long ago." He wickedly 
^dded, that our Saviour's prophecy was now fulfilling, when he said, ^' the 
first shall be last, and the last shall be first;" that we had been/r^< long 
enough. Fearing that my father might be put into a dungeon without 
ibod that he could eat, I had all the eggs I could get boiled hard, and some 
cheese cut into small pieces, rolled up in separate papers; concealing part 
about me, and the remaiiider I slipped into his coat pockets. I asked one 
of the guard if it were their intention to murder my dear father, and said, 
if that be your determination, I entreat you put us all to death this moment, 
aiid let me have the comfort of knowing that he and my children are at 
peace before you shoot me. He said, '^ you had better i^ot repeat that, 
for we might do it if we chose ; there is no one would bring; us to account 
for it. Come, come," they continued, '' there is no qse in 4el9ying, take 
him we will." I asked them how ; as his carriage-horses h£^d been seized, 
and there was no possible conveyance. They answered, " we'll get a cart 
for him, and you are young enough, tp walk." Another of them objected 
to taking me; but I said, with some warmth, I hope if any of you h^ve a 
father or children, you cannot have the heart to separate me from mine. 
This seemed to make some impression; and while a few of them went in 
search of a cart, the rest took my darling Susan into all the rooms, desiring 
her to be a good child, and shew them where the guns were. I went to my 
faithful Alley, and told her if she heard that we were to be murdered, to 
come immediately to .Wexford, as I had thirty guineas sewed up round my 
waist, and that I wished her to get it, as a reward for her compassionate 
feeling towards us. Almost choked with tears, she said, '' ahl my dear 
mistress, if you had allowed yourself, my master, and the young ladies to 
be christened, it would not have come to this." She was the only person 
amongst us who felt the relief of tears; she sobbed aloud ; and when they 
brought the cart to the door for my poor dear fieither, she insisted on being 



allowed to put a feather bed into it — ^which desire, after some consultation, 
they complied with. Never shall I forget the sensation, the freezing horror I 
felt, at seeing one of those fellows take my dear venerable father by the 
arm, and place him in his own cart. I put my two little girls by him, 
and, assuming as much cheerfulness as I could, I said, — *' Well, Sir, the 
poor Pope had not the comfort of a child and grandchildren to travel with 
him to prison."* I walked by his side till we came near Wexford, when 
our guard suddenly stopped, and stood for some time together whispering. 
My terror of a jail was such, I hoped they were consulting about putting us 
to death, and at once ridding us of all the horrors we had to contend with. 
One of them at length came forward, and, with the greatest air of import- 
ance, said, ** You have no right, as prisoners, to wear these green boughs ; 
take them out of your hats." I forgot to mention that, previous to our 
leaving Summerseat, they ornamented our heads with green boughs. So, 
after taking from us this badge of liberty, they proceeded with us to the jail. 
On our arrival there, the person who opened the door said to me, *' you 
must not go in." ** Not go in? — not go in with my father! — ^no one shall 
prevent me:" in an instant they put their pikes before me: I implored them 
not to separate me from my father: on^ of them gave me a push, and said, 
«* there is no room for women." I turned round, almost distracted, and 
seeing a person amongst the crowd who had the appearance of a gentleman, 
I implored him not to suffer those fellows to prevent my going with my 
father into the jail, that he was extremely ill, and I had never been sepa* 
rated from him: — " I would not leave him for worlds — my children tool — 
do, dear Sir, let me share his fate — let us at least be together." He ap- 
peared much affected, and said, " certainly. Madam, you shall go in;" and, 
after taking my poor father and children out of the cart, handed me in, 
and, with the utmost concern of countenance, lamented the shocking place 
he was conducting us to. It was a small front room, and so crowded that 
there was not room even for a chair. I begged permission to get the 
feather bed that was in the cart; my request was complied with, and just 
as I had put it into a corner, and laid my poor father on it, a gentleman 
came up to me, and lamented very much seeing us in such a situation.--* 
This gentleman was priest of our parish: he apologized for never having 

* The Pope was at this time a prisoner with the French. 

A1>PENDIX. 367 

waited on Mr. Owen and myself; that he had heard much of both, and again 
expressed his concern of first seeing us in such a situation. I said, I had 
hoped my father's great age would have screened him; that he was not a 
magistrate, nor had he any thing to do with public affairs ; that he was ex* 
tremely ill; and that I feared the heated and crowded room would prove 
fatal to him. (It was most fortunate the panes of glass were all broken, or 
we should have been suffocated.) He very kindly said he would do what 
he could, and at the same time beckoned to the young gentleman who had 
evinced so much compassion for me. The priest whispered to him for some 
time and in about an hour returned with a pass from General Keogh, directed 
to all United-men, desiring they would suffer Mr. Owen and family to 
return to Summerseat, and to protect his property. We were immediately 
liberated. My father asked, if any fees were to be paid? and upon 
being told there were not, he requested the young gentleman who had 
taken so much trouble, to accept the few guineas he had in his hand, which 
he politely, but positively, refused. He took care of us to the door, where 
we found a party of fifty to guard us home. Upon inquiring for our 
humble vehicle, we learned that Dr. Jacob had ordered it to the camp with 
flour for the rebel army: this was the second act of kindness I had expe- 
rienced from him. When we were in the jail, he was on horseback, at the 
window: I called out to him, and, holding a guinea between my fingers, 
said. Dr. Jacob, my father has not tasted bread since the rebels have had 
possession, let me entreat you to order me a crown's worth. He turned 
from me, and, with the utmost sangfroid, said he was on suffrage himself, 
and could procure me none. I had been very anxiously inquiring for Mrs. 
Harvey and family, when two carts with prisoners came towards us, and 
I discovered Mrs. Harvey, her respectable mother, four daughters, their 
governess, and the infant son and heir, with his nurse, packed into two 
common carts, guarded by a strong party of pikemen. After mutual con- 
gratulations, I was lamenting to her that I had no conveyance for my poor 
father, when one of the guard, a young gentleman, got off his pony, which 
he assured me was very quiet, and said that he would have great pleasure 
in accommodating so fine an old gentleman. 

Mrs. Harvey had a pass similar to ours, and had only been just released 
from imprisonment. When we got a short way from Wexford we met^ I 


tm sure, two thousand of those deluded creatures drawn up, ready to imieh 
to the battle of Ross. Overcome with heat and fat^e, I sat down on a 
heap of stones, and seeing a girl run quickly past with something in her 
apron, it occurred to me it mi^t perhaps be bread. I called to her, and 
begged she would let me have a crown's worth : she replied, there was 
not a bit to be had. I lifted up my eyes, and said, ** oh! would it ipiot 
be more charitable to put us at once to death than starve us?" In an 
instant, one of the rebels l>roke from the ranks, and threw a large piece <tf 
bread and cheese into my lap, and, with the utmost compassion of counte- 
nance, begged I would take it. I endeavoured to slip some money into his 
hand, when he darted from me, with a significant look, seeming frightraed 
lest he had been observed. He rejected the money. I had not time to 
ask his name, nor have I ever since seen this noble creature. How unlike 
Dr. Jacob's conduct! by whose activity for the rebel camp we lost a valua- 
ble carriage horse, which, a very few months before, cost my father above 
forty guineas. When we returned home we met our faithful Alley at the 
lawn gate; her joy was, indeed, unfeigned. She did every thing possible 
to keep up my spirits; and when I expressed my fears that we should be 
all starved, she reminded me that we had a good garden, plenty of vegeta- 
bles and fruit, and abundance of milk, eggs, and some young pigs; and 
that God Almighty would send me and her master enough, and nevtt let 
us want. Thanks to his infinite mercy, he never did let us want! 

As we passed on to the house, I met a most respectable £surmer with a pike 
in his hand; on asking him the reason, he looked fearfully about, and, find- 
ing that our guard had left us, he told me that he was endeavouring to 
escape, but was seized, and sworn; that they had plundered his house and 
barns, and he feared Mrs. Parkes (his wife) was at that moment without 
food. '' It is owing to my infirmity," said he '' my not being sent farther; 
I am appointed to guard this place, and see that you don't escape: they 
found me too feeble for any thing else." When I parted from Mr. Parkes, 
I went into a little garden that Hayes had made for dear Susan, in the 
shrubbery. There I sat embracing and rejecting hope by turns, till I was 
roused from reflection by a number of persons walking quickly past. I 
stood on a garden-seat, and saw them reach the halUdoor. I instantly 
followed, trembling at every step; but before I gained the door, I distinctly 


saw them in the drawing-room with lights, passing and repassii]^. I hurried 
cm, and after entreating my father to remain with the children in the break- 
fieu^t parlour, I went up stairs. On entering the room I was accosted by a 
hideous, fierce-looking man, who was half drunk; there were above twenty 
armed with pikes. At the end of the room stood a gigantic looking figure, 
with a hat and feathers, a muslin gown richly trimmed with lace, and a 
doak of the same, looking over the music books. On approaching nearer 
I found that this strange-looking person was a man dressed in woman's 
clothes, no doubt some of the plunder of the day, and most valuable it was, 
beii^ deep and fieishionable Brussels lace. The fellow standing near him 
had a brace of pistols and a blunderbuss : he took hold of me, and said, 
" I wants a book I saw here yesterday — it was a great big one, and the 
cover will serve me for a saddle." I begged, most quietly, he would take 
any thing he wanted; upon which he lifted up a folio edition of the History 
of London, with fine engravings of the different buildings, which dear 
Susan had been copying. Recollecting that she had be^i in the habit of 
putting her copies with the leaf she drew from, I begged he would allow 
me to shake the book: and, can you believe it? with some of her drawings 
tl^re fell on the floor the party song of *^ Croppies lie down." I snatched 
it up, and put it in my pocket unperceived. Can I ever sufficiently thank 
my God ? I have since heard that an entire family lost their lives by a 
ttimilar cir<mmstance. One of the rebds found this song on a drawing- 
room table, and they were all so outrageous, they put the family to death. 
I believe this is recorded in Sir Richard Musgrave's account of the rebellion. 
One of the party came up to me, and said, " it was I that took your big 
fiddle, or Jar,* as the maid called it: we cannot make music in it, but we will 
come for you soon to play for us; we want music greatly in the camp; but 
we are going a great way off to-morrow." Next day a large party rode up 
to the door, at a very early hour, and called for me : I sickened almost to 
famting, thinking it was this man that had encouraged them to come and 
take me to the camp. Poor faithful Alley intreated them not to disturb her 
master, who was asleep; and begged of them to go, but they would not be 
dissuaded from their purpose, and insisted on having me out. When I 

* Guitar. 


came, they desired I would get breakfast for them directly. I assured them 
there was no provision of any kind in the house ; that every thing had been 
taken the night we were at the island. They then said, ** well, give us the 
whiskey, till we drink success !" Upon my producing a bottle of what 
we had brought from the island with us, one of the men advanced, and 
desired I would drink some myself; that they bad got an order not to take 
any thing from us without our previously tasting it ; upon which another 
advanced, and said, he would take the first glass himself — ** the gentlewo* 
man was above any such %oorksJ' It instantly occurred to me, that should 
this man or any of the party get sick, the rest might come and revenge it 
on me; I therefore called for a glass of water and put some whiskey in it, 
took some myself, and made each of the children do so; they were then 
satisfied, and, after finishing the bottle, rode ofi. I now began to consider 
what I could do for my poor father's breakfast; a bit of bread or flour I 
had not, nor could I get any to buy. I sent to Mrs. Woodcock, to beg she 
would give me a little of either for him. She told the servant she had none ; 
but begged I would contrive to go over to her. Her house was within two 
fields of us — I went directly — and, on her seeing me, she, with an air of 
mystery, beckoned me into her house closet, from a loft over which she 
pulled down a small bag of flour, telling me, that she had hid all she had 
in different places ; that she did not like to acknowledge, even to my ser* 
vant, she had any, lest her house might again be searched. Delighted with 
my prize of a few pounds of flour, I hurried home, and made it into biscuits 
for my poor father. My children and I breakfasted on potatoes, previous 
to his breakfast time, fearing he should know to what we were reduced. 
As to myself, I never knew what hunger was the whole time of the rebellion. 
I was continually sipping milk and water to cool my lips, which were 
actually parched: I believe I was in a fever the whole time. 

My father's usual habit was, immediately after breakfast, to inquire 
into the state of the larder. On this day he said, " I suppose, my dear, 
we have nothing for dinner! — ^What can we have?" I was shocked, and 
said I would consult with Alley. She told me she knew of nothing but a 
roasting pig, if she had any one to kill it. After some difficulty we wete 
able to get Hayes, to whom I told our distress: he was a handy 
creature, and said that he would kill and prepare it as well as be could for 


cooking. I then thought of the fermer's wife, (a most respectable woman, 
whose husband I mentioned as being placed to guard the lawn gate ;) L sent 
to request she would come and partake of the pig at four o'clock. She was 
much delighted, and when dinner was over, returned me thanks for having 
given her the first quiet meal she had eaten since the commencement of 
the rebellion. She told me that every thing her husband posse3sed' 
had been taken by the rebels; that, with a pistol at her breast, they de- 
sired her to confess if there were any Orangemen in her house or in the 
neighbourhood; that what she suffered the night we fled, was not to be de- 
scribed; that the rebels broke in on her every hour, and behaved in the most 
violent manner. She expressed her fears to me, that her husband would be 
forced to an expected battle at Ross, and that she did not think he could live 
to go half the way. Next day Hayes came to me, and, after hesitating some 
time, begged I would not ask Mrs. Parkes again ; that it was talked much 
of at the Cross,* (the rendezvous of the rebels;) that they said we could not 
forget old times; that we could not live without company; but they would 
shew us we had no right to make use of any thing without leave. A few* 
days after, when I wanted him to kill a pig of about eight months old, (a 
few of which were the only food left us,) he said, it was as much as his life 
was worth to touch them without leave from the Committee, but he would 
try and come at night. He did so: and after killing the pig hid it in a 
cellar, and put loose stones at the door, in hopes they would not examine 
it. He told me the insurgents intended coming for the cows, but that John 
prevented them, swearing they should never take or harm the cows, that 
she (meaning me) had so often fed his. family with; and while he had life he 
would protect both them and me. I shall ever have reason to love the poor 
Irish for the many proofs of heart they have shewn during this disturbed 
season ; particularly as they were all persuaded into a belief that they were 
to possess the different estates of the gentlemen of the country; and that 
they had only to draw lots for their possessions. One day a large party of 
rebels rode through the meadow of the lawn; the priest, whom I have before 
mentioned, was sitting with my father; he went out to expostulate with 
them for spoiling the meadow, and one of them said, '^ faith, we ought to 
take care of it, for we don't know to whose turn it will come to, to have it for 

* Cross of the Roads. 


himself/' My father continued very low and ill : I had not a drop of 
wine, or any proper nourishment for him. Poor Hayes, who saw my 
distress, mentioned it to one of the rebels, and next evening he came to me 
with a bottle of excellent claret— never was I more oveijoyed. I do 
believe it saved his life ; it was at least a comfort he had not had since our 
escape to the island. All this time we were very uneasy about my brother 
and his large family. His living was near Eniscorthy, and of course he 
was in the midst of the rebellion. The first question I used to ask Hayes 
every night, on his return from the rebel camp, was, "have you heard any 
thing of my brother or Mrs. Owen r One night I was obliged to repeat the 
question, and, on looking at Hayes, I evidently saw his countenance marked 
with visible concern, and he appeared not to like to answer my question. 
I felt terrified, and desired he would not keep me in suspense — ^I guessed 
all — " they are murdered, I suppose." " No, Madam, not so bad; but Mr. 
Owen has been taken prisoner, at the head of 500 of his parishioners. He 
was brought into the rebel camp, and from thence marched into the jail of 
Gorey; and indeed. Madam, I am afraid he is a little light in his head." 
At once it flashed across me that the strong sense of his situation, his wife, 
(who was near being confined,) and that of his eight children, had deprived 
him of his senses. This so completely overpowered me, I fell against a table, 
and was for some time insensibjie. When I recovered a little, all that I had 
suffered felt light compared to his malady. I charged Hayes to keep this 
melancholy intelligence a secret from my poor father and children. How 
often did I thank Heaven that my dear mother had not lived to come to the 
county of Wexford, where she had planned so much happiness for herself 
and family;. — ^Wbat blind creatures are we ! How often did I wish my dear 
fitther laid quietly by her, so much did I dread his being murdered. Oh, 
how impious it is to despair ! But to return to my poor brother* Hayes 
begged of me not to suffer his master to go out on the road, as they were so 
exasperated against Mr. Owen for avowing himself an Orangeman, that he 
heard them talk of coming again to send his master back to jail. I asked 
where my brother was, and what had become of his £aimily. He assured 
me he did not know. My fears that he had been put to death were soon 
relieved : in about an hour after Hayes's information, I received an open 
note written in his hand, but in such an agitated manner I could scarcely 


read it; it ran thus — " My dear Jenny, I never was merrier or happier in 
my life — Nancy, the children and money are gone off I know not where — 
come and see me — bring me some vegetables and cucumbers — ^Wexford 
Jail." It was eight in the evening when I received this note. I called for 
Hayes, to consult about what was to be done; he was gone to the camp; 
it was too late to think of going that night, but I determined on going 
early next morning. How to frame an excuse for my absence to my poor 
father I knew not; and to tell him I dared not venture; indeed my fears 
were, that I should be seized on, and put into jail, with this intended victim 
of their ferocity. It is impossible to give an idea of the ills I foreboded for 
my poor father, myself, and children, but all was overcome by the hope of 
saving my brother; and humbly trusting in the protection of Heaven I was 
on the point of setting out, when Hayes returned from the camp. I told 
him where I was going : he started, and said, '' I beg. Madam, you'll not 
be so mad — it is but five o'clock — the roads are crowded with the rebels 
relieving guard, and if they found out you were taking part with Mr. Owen 
you will bring troubles on yourself and my master ; and, madam, if you won't 
be too much troubled at hearing it, he is quite out of his senses : it was 
that that saved his life, for he was dancing through the streets of Wexford, 
singing out that he was an Orangeman, and feared no one. — ^They were 
taking him to jail, and indeed he was every way in a bad condition ; I 
would have put my own coat and hat on him but for fear of my life, for 
there were above two hundred guarding him. " Instead of poor Hayes's 
zeal for me awakening my fears, it more strongly determined me to risk every 
thing to get my brother to Summerseat, and I told him nothing could dissuade 
me from my purpose. He again entreated me not to go, as Mr. Owen was 
to be tried by the Committee at twelve o'clock. This only added wings to 
my impatience ; I lost not a moment, and thought every pebble impeded 
my speed. My dearest Susan cried so violently at my leaving her I turned 
back and brought her with me ; my poor Letitia (who, you know, is nine 
years older) I left to take care of my father, and I own when I kissed 
her at the door I thought it was for the last time. When I got to Wexford 
(a distance of three miles, which I was obliged to walk, having neither 
coachman or horses left me) I knew not to whom I could apply to get me 
into the jail. The streets exhibited the most frightful appearance — ^the 



church was shut up, though it was Sunday — a ragged little boy beat the 
large drum belonging to the unfortunate North Cork Militia — thousands of 
pikemen marched in the middle of the street — not a female was in it but 
myself and child. Terrified at this, I involuntarily stopped and stood 
motionless, till I observed myself the object of universal attention, and 
heard one of them say, " She is a spy!" — "Who the devil is she ? '* a third said, 
" she would make a good wife for the camp." Had I seen one amongst the 
hundreds who passed me, that had the slightest appearance of a gentleman, 
I would have implored his protection for myself and child ; but they were 
all drunken ill-looking fellows. In this distress I saw with joy, at the oppo- 
site side of the street, our friendly priest who had got us liberated from jail ; 
I called to him to cross over to me, being afraid to break through the multi- 
tude that were inarching ; but, to my utter amazement, he turned from me, 
though he evidently saw me, and walked faster than the rebels marched, to 
avoid me. In this dilemma it occurred to me, if I walked up and down be- 
fore the jail I possibly might see my brother, as the room we had been put 
into looked towards the street ; I soon found this impossible, the crowds of 
pikemen passing and repassing prevented my getting near ; and they looked 
so horridly at me, and pushed me about so savagely, I was afraid to speak, 
or make any inquiry. Seeing the impossibility of effecting my purpose, 
I returned to Summerseat. 

At home I found my poor father very ill and unable to get up. Such 
were the scenes that pressed on my imagination, I should have rejoiced at 
seeing him sinking into a quiet natural den,th. I told him the confusion I had 
found Wexford in prevented my seeing my brother, but that I hoped to be 
more fortunate to-morrow. He violently opposed my going again. I told 
Alley of my disappointment about the priest, and desired her to prevail on 
him to come to me, as I wanted to speak with him. When she returned 
from his house, I saw that she wished to say something she hesitated about; 
I begged she would speak openly to me, and asked, would the priest come 
to me ? " Yes, madam, but don't be angry." I assured her I believed her 
perfectly in my interest, and could not be angry with any thing so faithful 
a creature might say. "Well, Madam — if you would allow Father O'Connor 
to christen my master, the young ladies, and yourself, it might be the 
saving of you all." I quickly answered, he may do any thing if he will 


assist me in getting my brother out of jail. The priest promised to meet me 
at a Mrs. Moore's, in Wexford, an old lady of my acquaintance, who had been 
overlooked in the hurry, and, I believe, was the only person not visited by 
the rebels. Delighted at the accomplishment of my wishes, I again set out 
without having closed my eyes, or lain on a bed since the night before ; 
but I felt as if nothing had power to tire ine ; I could not eat a bit, and my 
thirst was not to be satisfied. When I had reached the distance of half a 
mile, I heard some one running violently after me ; on stealing a look rounds 
I perceived it was Alley, who had followed me with a message from the 
priest, to request, should I see him in the street, not to appear to know 
him — that he found he was most unwillingly obliged to retract his promise, 
as it would ruin him in the eyes of the people. This frightened me 
so much, I questioned myself, was it not temerity to proceed ? but I soon 
rejected the idea, and trusting in that Almighty Power that had hitherto 
spared me, I told Alley nothing should deter me, were I only to gratify my 
poor brother by seeing him ! But I own I was not without my fears that it 
was rashly exposing myself to the fury of a mob, and perhaps the unfortu* 
nate object of my anxiety to their greater vengeance, by my interference. 
I felt, however, a something in me that impelled me forward, in spite of all 
the dangers that fancy had conjured up. 

When I got to Wexford, I was as much at a loss as ever to whom to 
apply for admittance to the jail. I saw a great crowd of rebels running in 
confusion, and saying, '' make haste to parade. General Keogh is gone." It 
immediately occurred to me to follow at a distance, and that this general 
might be of a superior order to those common, ill-dressed men, who passed 
in such numbers I thought they would never cease. At length they all 
got into an immense field, where General Keogh paraded them for above 
an hour ; during which time I stood at a distance, under the most parch- 
ing sun I ever felt ; yet my blood ran cold when I saw their numerous 
pikes, and understood their murderous purpose. When the parade broke 
up, I took the opportunity of addressing General Keogh. He was dressed 
in full uniform, green and gold, with a cocked hat trimmed with gold 
lace ; he strove to avoid me, but I courageously called to him to stop for 
one moment. I told him in as few words as possible the situation of my 
brother, and presented him a letter, which he refused to take. He added. 


that he knew it well and lamented it ; but that he had no longer the charge 
of the prisoners — that department had been taken from him, and Mr. 
Kearney had the care of them at present (this General Keogh had been a 
captain in the King's army for years.*) I then made inquiries about Mr. 
Kearney's residence* and was not long in search of him ; in him I met 
with a man of great humanity, though a rank rebel. He was much affected 
at my account of my brother's situation. When I told him he was married 
and had eight children solely depending on him, he turned to a cradle in 
the room where he sat, in which there was a beautiful infant asleep, and 
said, '' Innocent creature 1 you are happily ignorant of the state your father 
is in and the scene around you." (I believe at this time they were fearful of 
not succeeding.) He turned to me with tears rolling down his face, and said, 
*' My wife was obliged to fly in the revolution from France, it will be hard if 
the same fate attends her here.*' I scarcely listened to him, I was so impa- 
tient to see my brother ; but he went on talking, and said, '^ I suppose you 
know the park near Dublin, it is full of our encampments ; we suffer no 
provisions into the city, cur army possessing themselves of every thing 
that comes near it ; they have the canals, and have stopped the entrance of 
the shipping." This unexpected intelligence was a new source of wretched- 
ness — if my dear friends in Dublin were in such danger, I cared little for 
my own safety, though I hoped the account was exaggerated. I en- 
deavoured to interest him about my brother, and promised most solemnly 
if he could get him out of prison, even for a few days, I would myself watch 
him, and be answerable with my life that he should be forthcoming when sent 
for. I begged he would allow me to see him, with which he complied, and 
walked with me to the jail ; he desired me to go to the front window and he 
would have him brought there, which was all he could do ; but advised me 
to come next day and he would try to interest the Committee in his favour. 
He said he would himself give him the vegetables and cold meat I had 
brought in a napkin : he then took his leave, and I with difficulty made my 
way to the window ; the panes of glass were fortunately all broken, as when 
I was in that abode of wretchedness ; this enabled me to look in. I soon 
saw some person coming towards me held by two men, from whom he was 

* General Keogh was hanged when the King s army took Wexford. 


e&deavouring to force forward. Shall I ever forget the sight that then pre-* 
sented itself! My brother almost flew when he saw me, stretched out his 
burning hand tlirough the bars, and strove to force out his head to kiss dear 
Susan. He had on him an old flannel waistcoat, neither shoes nor stockings ; 
his beard an inch long ; his hair cut close to his head, one side of which was 
bleeding, where jthe rebels had put a pitch plaster, which he had torn oiF. 
I was obliged to hold the bars of the window to prevent my falling. I 
reached him a leaf of cherries and a cucumber, which he devoured. — ** Don't 
be afraid, Jenny ! I have sent an express to Lord Castlereagh, and to the 
Bishop of Ferns, and I shall desire one of them to buy a harp for dear Susan. 
How is my friend Jemmy Boyd ?" (Mr. Boyd was an active magistrate, and 
had a corps, with which he was obliged to fly the day the rebels entered 
Wexford.) The moment they heard my brother inquire for Mr. Boyd, I had 
twenty pikes raised over my head, I believe with the intention to put me to 
death ; but one less savage than the rest restrained them. 1 assured them 
most solemnly I was notacquainted with Mr. Boyd, nor had I seen him since 
I came to Summerseat. My brother, not knowing what they were saying, 
called aloud to me, " Jenny, Jenny, my dear, have you seen my friend Hay- 
don*?" he started back and repeated *' Haydon,Haydon," — his face became 
quite convulsed, and when he could utter, he said, '' excellent man! these 
villains have murdered him." Then clasping his hands together, he looked 
up and said, ** Oh my God, the dead bodies of thy servants have they given to 
the fowls of the air, and the flesh of thy saints to. the beasts of the land ! Oh 
let the vengeance of thy servants' blood that is shed be openly shewed 
upon the heathen in thy sight — Oh let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners 
come before thee!" He was agitated beyond description — he said he must 
go and read prayers for die poor people up stairs. I could bear his madness 
no longer; I endeaYOured to restrain my feelings before him, but finding it no 
longer possible, I walked from the window and went into the first house 
I found open ; there I burst into the most frightful fit of screaming, which 
I had not power to restrain, and it so agitated me I was wholly deprived of 

* Mr. Haydon was a venerable clergyman in the diocese of Ferns, and my brother's most parti- 
cular friend. Report said that his own butler assisted in his murder 5 having first turned him and 
Mrs. Haydon out of their house^ when they fied on foot to Enniscorthy^ where Mr. Haydon was 
inhumanly butchered in the presence of his wife. 



the use of my limbs for above an hour. When I could look round, I found 
I was in a common ale-house, four women were sitting in a comer of the 
room at breakfast, all this time unmoved, though my darling Susan repeatedly 
begged of them to give her mamma a glass of water ; but to the disgrace of 
our sex, she called in vain, till two men came into the house and rendered 
me every assistance in their power, and scolded Judy for not asking the 
lady to take a cup of tea. I continued so long ill, I dreaded being 
obliged to remain in this house, but in about an hour the numbness of my 
limbs abated, and I crept as far as Mrs. Moore's, where I got some harts- 
horn and water, which relieved me so much that I was soon able to walk 
about the room ; and at length a violent flood of tears tended more to my 
recovery than medicine could. I told her my poor brother's melancholy 
state, and she kindly promised to send him breakfast every morning. 
When able, I returned to Mr. Kearney, who politely assured me he would 
himself take my brother his breakfast. Disappointed at the little I had 
effected, compared to the risks I had run, I again reluctantly turned my 
steps towards home. It was by this time six in the evening, and I was 
wretched at the uneasiness I knew my father and Letitia would suffer at 
my long stay. Overcome with fatigue I sat down about a mile from town, 
on a small bridge, over a rivulet, distracted at the idea of our situation. I 
had not been long there, when I saw a party of pikemen coming towards 
me. I started up, and my first idea was to hide my darling child under 
the arch ; but they came too quickly to enable me to do any thing but 
stand at their mercy. They saw terror in my countenance, and humanely, 
and in a gentle voice, called to me '' not to fear." One of the men knew 
me, though I had not the most remote knowledge of him. They all ad- 
vised me not to venture so far from home lest I might meet strangers. I 
trembled so violently I could scarcely walk, and was obliged to take an 
arm of one of the men to enable me to proceed, which the man perceiving, 
desired me to be of good heart, he would take care of me: '*no one shall 
harm you, madam. If you wish we will try to sleep about at Summerseat J' 
There was an honesty of manner in those poordeluded creatures that pre- 
cluded a possibility of doubting the sincerity of their intentions ; I thanked 
them, and gratefully accepted a service offered with such humane warmth. 
They left me safe at home, and promised to return at night. How to tell 


night How to tell my fether the melancholy state I left my brother in I knew 
not ; nor could I bring myself to tell him the complete bondage we were in. 
How often did I thank God that the Bishop of Ferns refused to ordain 
Charles ! — he had been promised the curacy of Ross, but the Bishop ob- 
jected to his not being the proper age for ordination. The curate of that 
place had been put to death at the commencement of the rebellion, and though 
the insurgents kept us as much as they could in the dark about their pro- 
ceedings, it was plain they wished to annihilate all the protestant clergy. 
They continued to treat me with great kindness. Many of them, to whom I 
was a stranger, used to send in for me, and after looking mysteriously about, 
would lay a bottle of wine and some bread down by me, and say, " I know 
youll be glad of that for Mr. Owen." But how inconsistent ! the same per- 
sons were quite abusive to my faithful Alley for smoothing some muslin 
handkerchiefs of mine, and asked her did she still think herself my servant? 
that she ought to make me change places with her, — she had the right to 
command me. This shewed how impressed they were with the idea that 
they were really to change places, as they said, and all to become gentle- 
men. My excellent Alley burst into tears, and said she would die before 
she would command me. At night the men who had escorted me home 
were true to their promise ; four of them came to sleep at Summerseat, 
and I felt such confidence in their protection that, for the first time since 
the rebellion, I went into bed, where I slept most soundly till four o'clock 
in the morning; when I was awoke by the galloping of horses up the ave- 
nue, which was succeeded by a violent knocking at the hall door. I was 
terrified lest it should be some more dreadful account of my brother. I 
flew down stairs, and impatiently asked what was the matter, entreating 
them not to awaken my father with their noise. They swore violently 
and called for the men who were in the house — saying, Aey should be 
punished, and sent to Vinegar Hill, for leaving their posts. 

As soon as I was a little recovered from this scene of terror and confusion, 
I prepared for my third walk to Wexford. Alley oflfercd to walk there with 
me, and said she never was afraid to let me go before. I forgot to mention 
that, when the priest called on me, I told him that Alley had expressed the 
greatest anxiety that we should all be christened by him ; he answered, 
" Madam, that is between you and your God ; I should be sorry to influ- 



ence any one, though many have come to me for that purpose/' I said 
I was sure he would have but a bad opinion of any one who could so 
suddenly, and through fear, change their religion. I gave him great credit 
for his answer to me. I was, hdwever, afraid to take my faithful servant, as 
I should have been miserable about my father and Letitia, without her pro- 
tection, and at six o'clock in the morning again set out with my dear little 
companion Susan to brave all danger: the hope of getting my brother to 
Summerseat, and this interesting creature's sensible conversation, cheered 
me till I arrived at Mr. Kearney's house. What was my disappointment, 
when Mr. Kearney told me he could give me no answer till the next day ! 
But when this humane man saw my extreme agitation, he kindly said he 
would go out for a little and see to a certainty what I had to depend on. I sat 
in fearful expectation for more than an hour, when he returned with a posi- 
tive assurance that to-morrow my brother should be sent to Summerseat, 
but under a strong guard, and that I must be answerable with my life for his 
safe keeping — desired I would not let him out of my sight, and that I must 
pledge my solemn assurance I would give him up if sent for by the Com- 
mittee — that a few days was the extent of the* leave he had been able to pro- 
cure for him. I was too happy to get my brother even for that short time, 
not to promise every thing required of me. His mind was so very much dis- 
turbed, I dreaded his not quietly submitting to a guard over him, and, when 
a great distance from the town, returned to request Mr. Kearney would 
allow our coachman to be one of the party ; this he kindly promised, and it 
proved a great comfort to my brother, as he kept him in conversation about 
us. The moment I could get from home I set out to meet him ; but though 
previously to his coming, I had him shaved and sent him a suit of my 
fathers clothes, I had forgot a hat; and when I met him he looked such an 
object, I dreaded my father's seeing him. The clothes, much too large and 
long, were hanging on him ; his head still bleeding and exposed to the sun, 
appeared a tacit reproach to my forgetful ness. Nor would he allow m6 to 
tie my veil round his head. H« walked so fast, the guard told me it was 
with difficulty they could keep up with him. We met my dear father at the 
gate impatiently looking out for us. You may judge what a sight to him, 
and how much he was shocked, when in a moment my brother's conversation 
betrayed the state of his mind. He talked incoherently, and took off his 


coat before the guard, to shew the wounds those rascals (as he called them) 
had given him with their blunt pikes. My father, conceiving it was the 
men who were with him, turned on them with violence ; and, forgetting his 
age and weakness, would have knocked the man down who was nearest to 
him, when he perceived his old coachman, and was satisfied. I told him I 
had got Matthew by special favour ; and he was to be one of the guard to 
remain at Summerseat. 

Matthew gave me a pass which he had received to protect him, and I in- 
close it to you, as it may be considered curious hereafter : — 

" Let Rev. Mr. Owen pass to Summerseat, 
& remain there a prisoner. — June 19» 1798. 

Will. Kearney.** 
On the back it was directed, ''To all United Men."— 

He could give no account of Mrs. Owen or his children ; but that they had 
got off, he knew not where. While we were sitting at dinner, I was called 
out of the room, and on looking towards the yard, I saw a large party of pike- 
men, and Alley, almost in a state of distraction, talking to them. I went into 
the yard and asked the occasion of it. "Oh my dear mistress ! I knew what 
trouble you would bring on yourself and my master: my mother has just 
told me they say, unless you give up Mr. Owen to them, the house will be 
burned this night.'* All this time the rebels were consulting at the coach- 
house door. I implored her to be calm — she was in fits of tears and.quite hys- 
terical — I went over to the men — they called out, " Produce Mr. Owen, or 
we will tear the house down." I endeavoured to excite their compassion by 
assuring them he* was quite out of his senses ; that if he was with me a few 
days it would calm him, and he would be the better able to stand his trial ; 
they said, he had owned himself an Orangeman, and have him they 
would. I then took Mr. Kearney's pass out of my pocket, and read it to 
them ; after which I said, (with a resolution I am at this moment amazed at,) 
**At your peril l^,y a finger on him !" never can 1 forget their look of astonish- 
ment; while, as if with one consent, they marched out of the yard, mutter- 
ing, '* this night the house shall be burned." On my return to the dining 
parlour, I found my father and brother in such deep conversation that th6y 
had not missed me. Again Alley made her appearance at the door. She 
told me the men who left the yard had met her mother and told her to send for 



her daughter, for that this night Summerseat House should be burned, as I 
would not give up the Orangeman in it. She implored me not to sacrifice 
her master and the young ladies ; but when she found I was determined, she 
desired the people who were bringing down her trunk to take it to her 
mother, and tell her she had not the heart to leave me. I did all in my 
power to make her go, but it was to no purpose. 

I found it very difficult to keep my brother quiet — he was incessantly 
talking — told me he never loved Nancy so well as when she dressed 
the boys in orange ribbons, and sent them to fight those villains ; but 
he did not know where they now were. He also said, the first bed he had 
lain on was the one I had left for him in jail, and which that good man, 
Mr. Kearney, had settled for him on the floor. He repeatedly said, I know 
nothing of the boys, but I sent them to their mother. (The eldest of them 
was not thirteen.) We could not depend on any thing he said ; but he re- 
collected that Mrs. Harvey, his sister-in-law, and Mrs. Cliffe, his wife's 
mother, lived at Killeen Castle, within a few fields of us, and he insisted on 
going to see them. In vain I told him I was under a solemn promise not to 
let him leave the house ; but he burst from me, reproaching me for my cow- 
ardice, and said he would go. I was obliged to send Matthew and 
another of the guard after him, who with difficulty overtook and brought him 
back. I then got Matthew to go and tell Mrs. Harvey and Mrs. Cliffe what 
had happened, and request they would try and venture to see him. They 
did come with difficulty. Never was any thing more affecting than Mrs. 
Cliffe s inquiries about her daughter and grandchildren, to which my brother 
returned but incoherent answers. They soon left us, and I then tried to pre- 
vail on him to go to bed ; he did not appear in the least fatigued, and it was 
near one before I could get him to consent. The guard insisted on staying in 
the room. He soon fell into a disturbed sleep, quoting different lines from 
Shakspeare, one or two of which I recollect — ** Come, let's away to pri- 
son,"—" This tempest would not give me leave to ponder." — " Take physic, 
pomp, &c/* In this manner he went on till morning ; but though his sleep 
was much disturbed, I had the comfort to see him more composed next day. 
Every moment that I could venture to leave his room, I employed myself 
in carefully examining the outside of the house and out-offices, to see if the 
rebels had left any combustible matter about, to put their threats in execution. 


I was standing talking to my brother at his bed-side, endeavouring to prevail 
on him not to get up, when I saw a large party gallop towards the house; I 
closed the shutters, and said I would get his breakfast. By the time I had 
reached the hall door, they were about to dismount, when I requested them 
not to come into the house, as my brother was asleep. This party were, 
chiefly composed of gentlemen ; one of whom said, that two only should 
alight, but that they must search the house for Mr. Boyd. I assured them 
in the most solemn manner, that Mr. Boyd had not been inside the doors 
of Summerseat since we came there. They politely bowed and ordered the 
party to turn round as quietly as they could. They then went to Killeen 
castle ; and Mrs. Harvey has since told me they searched every wardrobe, 
and even an empty hogshead; but this may be accounted for, as Mr. 
Boyd was married to a near relation of Mrs. Harvey. When my brother 
had breakfasted, he insisted on going to Killeen castle — he said he must 
dine and spend the day there. I remonstrated at the imprudence of his 
going, and caught hold of his arm, which he wrested from me and leapt 
over the fence. I was obliged to send the guard after him, who soon brought 
him back; but he was extremely angry at my silliness, as he called it. 
Poor fellow! he little knew the risk I ran, and the danger we were all exposed 
to, at having an avowed Orangeman and a Protestant clergyman in the house ; 
nothing could have saved him but the insane state they all saw him in. 

We were under great uneasiness about our faithful Hayes, who had'been 
four days absent, and we were afraid he had been killed. At ten o'clock 
at night there came into the house two horrid looking fellows ; they told me 
they were come for Mr. Owen — ^he must go to jail. Whilst I was remon- 
strating with them, several rushed in and called the guard that had 
charge of my brother; I .entreated them to leave Matthew with me, but 
the men who came for them said, *^ we are all too little — the roads must 
be doubly guarded." Had I understood from this, want of men, it would 
have given me some comfort ; I have since heard they had received intelli- 
gence that the King's army were marching towards the town. My brother 
providentially escaped for that night — they were in tpo great a hurry to call 
for him again. 

The next day they brought a written order for him, which I could not 
dispute; but I detained them as long as I could, much against his will. 


He had no fear, and vowed he would go with them. Mr. Kearney sent me 
an assurance that nothing should happen to him. To this delay, under the 
providence of God, does he owe his life ; whilst he was on the road, a party 
went to the jail to put the prisoners to death. Mr. Owen, the protestant 
clergyman, was the first they called for ; not finding him, they took out 
seventy-five prisoners, and were taking them to the bridge of Wexford, in 
the opposite direction to the road my brother travelled, when Mr. 
Kearney (and may God for ever bless him for it!) went to meet him, 
and de)5ired the guard to follow the crowd, and he would take care of 
their prisoner: they eagerly ran off. Can I ever cease to be thankful 
to God! had my brother been ten minutes sooner, nothing could have 
saved him ; he must have shared the fiite of those unfortunate victims, 
the murder of whom must ever disgrace this country. The rebels went 
on murdering their prisoners with the most barbarous ferocity, till a 
priest (whose name I forget) on his knees implored them to desist, *' that 
surely they had blood enough for that night." A Mr. Cox, after receiving 
the most dreadful pike wounds, made a strong effort to save himself by 
leaping over the bridge, when they fired at him till he sunk. At this time 
we were most fortunately ignorant of all that was passing at Wexford, but 
I determined on going there next day, to try and bring my brother back. 

About nine o'clock that night I found the servants in the greatest con- 
sternation, messages coming to the house every moment. As soon as 
it was daylight, I saw a large ship outside the harbour, and rebels riding 
with great fiiry back and forward towards the coast. We began to hope 
this vessel had brought troops to our assistance ; but the rebels gave out 
it was their friends, the French, who were coming to join them. They 
knew nothing to a certainty till a boat was sent out. I kept watch- 
ing at the drawing-room window, and plainly saw firing from the vessel, 
and at last the boat was brought to its side. This was a boat the rebels had 
sent out to their friends, the French ! but they were soon made prisoners, 
and this confirmed our hopes that there.were troops on board; but even 
this hope was accompanied with fear ; the shores and hills were crowded 
with pikemen, that we dreaded a small body of our troops landing amidst 
such a ferocious multitude. 

I was preparing to go to Wexford when our faithful Hayes made his ap- 


pearance, after an absence of some days. He looked miserably, and was 
scarcely able to walk. Susan flew to him and leapt into his arms/ kissed 
him, and burst into tears. He was scarcely able to hold her. Poor fellow ! 
he was greatly attached to her, and the day before he went away he seemed 
very melancholy ; she asked him what ailed him, and if the rebels had 
ordered him to kill her. He started up, and took hold of the sword that 
was lying by him and broke it to pieces, swearing that he would never 
lift his arm but in his own defence, and turning towards her, said, ^' Kill 
you, my dear child ! God forbid I should live to see the day that any one 
would attempt it — if they did it should be through my heart, while it is in 
me to protect you.** 

This honest creature had, I suppose, heard of the intention of putting 
all the Protestants to death, and was fearful that he might have been 
ordered to be one of the executioners. You cannot wonder at this angelic 
child's delight at poor Hayes's return ; indeed we were all happy to see 
him, and anxious to get him what refreshment we could — his clothes were 
almost torn to pieces — he shewed us his hat perforated with balls while be 
was lying concealed in a ditch ; he told us that the man who lay near him 
was shot dead — that never was such a fight— the dead were lying in heaps, 
and he thought there could not be less than ten miles of the toad covered 
with the King's troops. He was so overpowered with gratitude at our 
anxiety about him, he said it made amends for all he had suffered. What 
joyful news had he brought us ! but my suspense about my brother made 
me fearful of indulging hope. Hayes concluded his history by saying, 
'' What could we expect, madam ! the generals (that is, the priests who are 
generals) desired us not to fear, for as fast as the red hot balls were fired, 
they would catch them in their hands* and they would not allow them to 
injure us. There were many who believed it; but I am sute I saw.hun* 
dreds drop as fast as the balls were fired from the .cannon." Though 
this account was dreadful, yet it gave us an assurance that the- army w6re 
coming to our relief; my terror however lest the jail should be set firi^ to, 
determined me on going to Wexford ; but just as I was ready to set out, 
our friendly priest rode up to the house in great agitation, saying, '' the 
King's troops have taken possession of Wexford without firing a. shot." I 
instantly asked, was the jail safe ? he looked shocked at the question— 


'' Pray, for God's sake tell me, do you know any thing of my brother ^ He 
said, " I hope he's safe ; but there were dreadfiil doings on the bridge last 
night." I ran out of the room, calling for Hayes to follow me; when I 
reached the hall I heard a horse furiously galloping to the door, and in a 
moment my dear brother had his arms about me. He was so much agi- 
tated, and indeed we were all in such a state of joy and gratitude to Heaven 
for our deliverance, that we were some time incapable of doing anything but 
repeating '' Good Grod be praised !" Never can I forget the sensations of that 
moment ! In a little time we saw the rebels flying in all directions ; at 
night one of them came to me with his wife and six children, and implored 
me to give them protection — that he must fly — that his cabin would be 
burned, and that his wife brought her blankets with her. He was in such 
distraction I assured him I would take care of them if they could sleep in 
the coach-house — " any place, madam, withinside your walls/* I ordered 
potatoes and milk for the children (the only food in my possession); the poor 
fellow was quite overcome ; I desired him to stay, but he would not ven- 
ture, and the poor woman prepared her straw bed with such confidence in 
me as produced a most pleasurable feeling. Removed so suddenly from 
the terrors of my own situation, I could scarcely believe it was in my 
power to give protection to any one. When I left her and turned into 
the yard, I found it crowded with men, women, and children, who 
implored me to give them shelter. They v^ere in a state of distraction, 
being sure they were all to be put to death. I did every thing in my 
power to quiet them, and assured them I would write to the commanding 
officer in the morning, and that meantime I would have cards nailed on 
all the cabins within reach of me, to certify their good conduct to my family, 
and refer them to Summerseat for a further account of those who had be- 
haved well. This appeased the poor deluded creatures, who were most of 
them forced into this dreadful business. As night approached, all the 
offices and yard became crowded with rebels, entreating me to allow them 
to remain till morning. They besought me to let them lie in the walks of 
the garden, such as could not find room, any where else. Next day, when 
the proclamation was issued for their pardon on returning to their allegiance, 
they thought it was only to seduce them into the town to be shot. Many 
gave up their pikes and arms to my &ther. Two days after the army had 



come to ourrelief, a young priest requested to speak tome — ^he was disguised 
in the dress of a peasant. After entreating secrecy, he told me who he 
was, and begged I would give him leave to administer the sacrament to a 
young man to whom I had given protection — that he was in a desperate state 
with a ball in his arm — that all who were found wounded were shot without 
trial, and that soldiers had been sent through the country to search for 
them. In vain I endeavoured to convince him that the King s free pardon 
would be given to all those who would give up their arms, and return to 
their allegiance. 

This poor young man was in so much pain, that I had placed him in one of 
the spare rooms. I brought the priest, and they remained together more than 
an hour. When the priest had concluded his duties, I went to the young 
man and entreated him to let me send for Dr. Johnston, who would extract 
the ball, and that he would get well directly ; but, great as the agony he 
suffered was, I could not prevail on him, so strong was his impression that 
he would be shot if discovered. Whilst I was endeavouring to give him con- 
fidence in the King's proclamation, a person desired to speak to me whom I 
found to be this lad's mother. I desired her to be shewn up, and really 
dreaded the scene that I thought must have ensued ; but she strutted into 
the room with an air of effrontery that astonished me, and turning to him 
with more command than tenderness said, " what signifies your arm, if you 
suffer death it is in the good cause — your Saviour suffered for you." I was 
shocked at her countenance, but assured her he was in no danger, except 
from his wound, and urged her to let me send for Doctor Johnston, which 
she refused very bluntly, and desired her son to take her arm and come 
home, that *' all was not over with them yet." This horrid woman frightened 
me so much that I most gladly saw her departure, and pitied extremely 
the poor young man, whom I offered to keep till he was better. When I 
found we could again take the liberty of asking any one to dine, I wrote to 
our friendly priest, and told him how happy my father and I would be to 
have his company at dinner, and that he should have a bed. He wrote 
to thank us, but was afraid to venture out of his house, not having a 
protection, and that be would be extremely obliged to me if I could pro- 
cure him one. I wrote in my father's name to the commanding officer, 
stating the humane conduct of the priest, and was delighted at immedi- 



ately getting a protection^ which I sent him. He lost no time in coming — 
he told me he had no fear of the gentlemen of the country, but owned he 
had not the same confidence in the soldiery. 

After dinner my dearest Susan and I sang the Sicilian Hymn to the Vir- 
gin, which he said had more power to compose him than he could have 
imagined. We repeated it twice for him, and you may judge my joy and 
thanks at being able once more to sing with this beloved child. It is im- 
possible to describe this angelic creature's feeling — if her lot be not fortu- 
nate it will be a short life to her; she is all soul and heart, and though 
in the time of our greatest fear, she made every lively effort to keep up my 
spirits, she was evidently overwhelmed with our great change of situation, 
and her spirits appeared no longer what they had been while endeavouring 
to support mine : indeed, both my dear children were a treasure to me, 
though I trembled for them, and often wished them any where but here- 
Next morning I received a letter from the Mayor ; which, on opening, I 
found enclosed one from my son Charles! — ^it was dated from Ross. He 
expressed his joy, his gratitude to Heaven, in the most lively terms, to 
find that we had escaped. He had but just heard of our safety: although 
he had been within nine miles of our house a few nights before — his mind 
tortured with suspense about us — ^yet he dared not visit us. 

I knew not whether to rejoice or lament at this intelligence ; for though 
in apparent safety, yet reports were such as continually to keep alive our 
fears. With Charles's letter my father received an order from the High 
Sheriff to have all the pike handles in his possession cut into pieces of a foot 
long, before an hour. This made me very unhappy about Charles; I 
fancied him in the field of battle against his countrymen — ^what a dreadful 
idea ! I did hope he had been in Jersey ; but his regiment was ordered 
over in consequence of the state of Ireland. This was an additional weight 
upon my mind. The order from the Sheriff made me fear we were not so 
secure as we at first hoped : and the speech which the woman made when 
I was trying to give her comfort about her son, nearly confirmed me in 
this opinion. 

So soon as I could venture to send a messenger on the road, I sent most 
anxiously to inquire after Mrs. Bevan, whose husband had been exertii^ 
himself amongst the peasantry and his parishioners previous to the rebel- 


lion breaking out, endeavouring to convince them of the madness of their 
conduct in not going into Wexford, as prescribed by the High Sheriff; 
we heard he had made his escape to Wales. Mrs. Bevan gladly accepted 
my invitation, and brought her children ; her eldest boy, about eight years 
old, affected me greatly by asking whenever he found me disengaged, 
where his papa was ; and was I sure the rebels had not killed him? Poor 
Mrs. Sevan's eyes filled with tears whenever she looked at the children ; 
she began to despair of ever seeing their father again, as I had a letter from 
Wales, and his name was not mentioned in it. The day after she came to 
us, Mr.Harvey andMr.Golclough were taken on an island called the Saltees. 
She received a letter from Mr. Colclough, requesting she would come imme- 
diately to Wexford, to give evidence for him. She complied with his desire, 
though she had nothing to communicate that could serve him. He and Mr. 
Harvey were condemned, and hanged next day — they were both men of 
fortune. On her return to me, she endeavoured to describe the horrid 
scene she had been witness to in the court-house, but so great was her agita- 
tion I could scarcely understand her. There she had seen three of her most 
intimate friends, without a hope of escaping an ignominious death ! She was 
in an agony of tears when I brought her into the lawn for a little air; we 
were not there three minutes before she screamed out, ^'Here's Bevan ! Here's 
Bevan ! " We saw him almost flying towards us with two of his children 
in his arms, the other two clinging by the skirt of his coat. The mixture of 
happiness and gratitude to God his features expressed, I can never forget; 
the little boy's eyes were fixed on his as if afraid of losing him again did 
they turn on any other object. Poor Mrs. Bevan could only sob out, 
*' Bevan ! Bevan ! where have you been — how did you escape ! " I shook 
him heartily by the hand and turned from them — I thought such a meeting 
should be sacred. I partook silently of their happiness. His account 
was, that on Wednesday morning (the day the rebels took possessiop 
of Wexford) he intended, as usual, to ride about his parish and har- 
rangue the peasantry, though they appeared so sulky he despaired of doing 
any good. Upon riding to his own forge, he saw the smith openly at 
work making pikes, and a. heap of them piled up in a comer of the forge. 
He galloped off to Wexford to give information, when to his utter astonish^ 
ment he fouiid the town evacuated by the loyalists, and every one who 



could, endeavouring to get on board ship. To return through the country 
alone, would have been certain death — rebels in all directions ; he was 
therefore obliged to choose the heart-breaking alternative of leaving his 
wife and children in a remote part of the county, where his house was, 
or brave a danger which must have been fatal ; the clergymen being objects 
of the greatest hatred to the rebels. 

The Sunday after his return, he read prayers in our drawing-room ; we 
collected all the protestants living near us, and never did I observe a set of 
people pray with more real devotion or gratitude ; but though there were 
strong encampments of the King's army all round us, I found amongst the 
peasantry murmuring at a protestant clergyman again performing his duty. 

They did not speak out, but I saw discontent and disappointment very 
visible ; and I believe many were far from thinking that the day (to use their 
own language) would not yet be their own ; some of them openly said so, 
with the King's pardon in their pocket. 

The Sunday following we once more ventured to Mr. Sevan's Church, 
which is quite in a remote comer of the barony, but not I own without fear 
and trembling, though he refused accepting a guard of soldiers — ^his confi- 
dence was too strong in that divine power who had so miraculously restored 
him to his family, and preserved them in the midst of such peril. Poor Mrs. 
Sevan had suffered a vast deal; but we were too happy to allow ourselves 
to dwell on the past. I got very unhappy about Charles, as we had 
constant accounts of marauding parties doing much mischief in the coun- 
try, which was by no means quiet, though at first I thought all danger was 
over when our army took possession. After we returned from Church, 
Mr. Sevan called me out of the room and desired me not to be alarmed, he 
would shew me a person I was not a little anxious about. I was so much 
agitated, notwithstanding his precaution, that I was really near falling 
on the stairs. He assured me nothing was the matter, but that Charles 
was in the stable, afraid to come in suddenly. Think of my joy at seeing 
this dear fellow, after all the dangers he had been in, and my misery about 
him. He was completely accoutred — a brace of pistols in his bosom, two 
in his belt, and two in his holsters, with a broad sword at his side. He rode 
from Kilkenny at great risk, but his impatience was not longer to be re- 
strained. Sir Charles Asgill did not like giving him leave, but kindly told 


bim he would expect to see him in three days on parade. He had a jour- 
ney of more than a hundred miles to perform. At nighty when all the family 
were in bed but myself and him, I could not resist the desire I felt of shewing 
him to my poor rebel friends whom I had concealed ; I made above twenty 
of them come in when he was sitting after supper. He poured out a large 
glass of whiskey and water, and reaching out his hand to them, said, 
" Well my lads, won t you drink the King's health ? " and almost in one 
voice they answered, " yes faith, and yours too :" then, looking at his uni- 
form, sneered and said, '* our liberty uniform is handsome, but 'tis not so 
grand a dress as that— but we could fight in our own ould clothes for all 
that !" Charles knew several of them whom he recollected having seen on 
Lacken Hill a few nights before, and they remembered him. How were 
matters changed ; a week before I should have trembled to see him amidst 
so many rebels. 

He remained with us but two days, and when he was gone I felt very 
differently at Summerseat ; the reports which continually reached us, kept 
us in a constant state of alarm; and when the post failed coming in (which 
was frequently the case) we fancied the worst, and thought all our mise- 
ries were to be renewed. I was most anxious to get to Dublin ; but it was 
impossible to travel in safety. I proposed to my father to go by sea; which, 
after resisting my entreaties for a fortnight, he consented to. Every person 
who could get room in the wretched traders to Dublin and elsewhere, were 
hurrying off. We took our passage in one, and were content to, remain on 
deck, there not being any accommodation for passengers. I had ^ bed 
placed in the best way I could for my father ; and when I looked at him 
and my dear children, and knew we were on our way to Dublin, I felt 
happiness I never expected ; — but it was soon clouded — the pilot was drunk; 
he struck us on the bar of Wexford harbour, and it was impossible we could 
get over till the next tide. We had three officers of the Queen s Regiment, 
and some passengers on board. The officers proposed to them to go to 
Wexford till the tide came about — they also proposed it to me, but I was 
afraid to say a word to my father, lest if be once went on shore I should not be 
able to get him back, and that the disappointment might determine him to 
run all risks and go by land — I therefore remained on board. 

Soon as the boat was out of sight, and we were left with only. the 


soldiers and people belonging to the ship, the pilot came on deck, and 
in the most insolent manner asked if I was one of the passengers. He 
swore at me and said he would make me sorry for not giving him a 
crown when I came on board ; and that he had struck the vessel on purpose 
to be revenged of us all. There was no one near me but Susan — ray father 
and Letitia were asleep at the end of the deck — I stood trembling before 
him ; at length I got courage, and called out to one of the soldiers to stand 
near me, and not allow him to talk to me in such a manner ; the soldier 
came up, and said he would throw the pilot overboard. I called aloud for the 
captain — the pilot sneeringly asked me what I thought he cared for the cap- 
tain — that he had no controul when the pilot was on board. They now be- 
came so abusive to each other I called again for the captain, when an ill- 
looking fellow came on deck ; his eyes were half closed with sleep and 
whiskey. I really felt more dead than alive ; and had it not been for the 
soldiers who were on board, I could never have supported myself. After a 
few painful hours I saw the boat returning from Wexford ; and when the 
officers and passengers came on board, I told them of the insolence of the 
pilot, and that he had said he would strike us again if he chose it, and keep 
us as long a& he liked in the harbour. 

Mr. Stringer, an Enniscorthy gentleman, declared the pilot should not 
take in the boat ; that he would go back to Wexford, and complain to the 
commanding officer; and desired him not at his peril to sail till he brought 
back a Mr. Grey, a protestant pilot. The captain remonstrated — said the 
man had been drunk, but was now quite sober, and would take us safe ; but 
Mr. Stringer was steady : he and two gentlemen went for the pilot — ^I begged 
that one of the gentlemen would retnain on board, to protect us from fur- 
ther insult ; v^rhich Mr. Turner, of the Queen's Regiment, politely offered 
to do. 

To this charming young man (under protecting Heaven) I am certain we 
owe our lives. In a few hours the gentlemen returned with the pilot they 
had sought for. We soon got over the bar, and all the dangerous navi- 
gation ; the pilot then took leav6. We had a fine evening, and fair wind ;- 
but at the fall of the tide, between one and two in the morning, wel 
struck upon a rock. This threw us all into great constematiob ; Mn 
Stringer, a gentleman who' h^d suffered greatly at Enniscorthy, added to 


our alarm by asserting aloud, that the captaia did it designedly. In a mo* 
ment all was bustle and confusion. You may imagine how much I was 
shocked, when the three officers came to me and requested I would keep 
their swords under my great coat, as they must all go and try to get the 
vessel off; they desired me to stand close to the hold of the ship, and 
call out to them if any one from below attempted to come on deck, as 
they suspected there were arms on board ; that we were just under Glas- 
carick Hill, the rendezvous of all the retreating rebels; Mr. Stringer said he 
was certain it was the captain's plan to give us up to them. Mr. Turner 
insisted on getting out the boat and put six of his men to work the windlas, 
and said he would shoot the first man belonging to the ship that put a hand 
to a rope without his orders. I heard Mr. Stringer whisper him to take 
care they did not slip the cable, and he was scarcely in the boat when he 
called out to know who the rascal was that slipped the cable, and desired 
they would put out another, or he would go on board and his men should 
lash to the masts every man belonging to the ship. All this time the vessel 
was thumping so violently against the rocks I gave myself up to despair, till 
my attention was called off by my angelic Susan's saying, '' Dearest mamma, 
dont be afraid — did not God Almighty save us from the rebels !" 

Mr. Turner remained a long time rowing round the ship, in hopes of get- 
ting her off; he found it in vain till the tide came about, but endeavoured 
to quiet our fears by assuring us the night was so calm we were in no dan- 
ger. Every thump the vessel gave filled me with horror ; and every noise 
made me fear the rebels were coming out in boats from the shore. In no 
period of the rebellion were my fears equal to those of this night. I do 
think I should have lost my senses but for Mr. Turner. The passengers 
wanted to have the com thrown overboard, which Mr. Turner opposed, 
saying, it might be the ruin of the owner — that it did not belong to the 
captain ; ond he convinced them it would be of little consequence towards 
moving the vessel. It is impossible to say too much of this charming 
. young man, who, in the few hours of my acquaintance with him, displayed 
steadiness, bravery, activity, and humanity. When my fears were a little 
abated, I could not help telling him, I envied the mother who had such a 
son to boast of. 

The ship continued violently agitated for several hours; during which 


time hope and despair alternately took possession of me. My dear child's 
religious reflection made me blush at doubting one moment that Being's 
mercy in whom she so piously expressed her confidence. I felt at times 
perfectly resigned, and even that did the worst happen, we were spared 
from the more bitter death of murder; and could the ship not be saved, 
we were not likely, one of us, to be uncertain of the other's fate; but 
my self-reproach at prevailing on my dear father to come by sea, was 
my most painful feeling : I accused myself of being accessary to his death, 
and this idea was indeed intolerable. At length the joyful cry of, " She's 
off! she goes !" was echoed through the deck. So sudden was this delight- 
ful news, that Iwas really stunned, and yet felt such a confusion of recollec- 
tion (if I may be allowed the expression) it was a length of time before 
they could make me understand that the ship was in full sail, and that every 
thing favoured our speedy and safe passage to Dublin, where we arrived 
without further obstacle. 

We found hackney coaches on the quay, into one of which we joyfully 
got ; indeed, our sensations were not to be described. We looked at each 
other without being able to utter a word, except dear Susan, who asked me 
were we really in Dublin and away from the rebels ? Going through York 
Street, I saw my beloved dear Doctor Hartigan's carriage at the door of 
some patient. I entreated my father to allow me to get into it, and that he 
and the children would precede us, to our hospitable destination, the 
Doctor's house ; my father consented, and into his carriage I joyfully 
went. At length the hall door was opened, and in the same moment the 
footman let down the step for his master — but what was my dear Willy's 
surprise when I threw my arms about him — " Jenny ! Jenny ! is it possible !" 
I continued embracing him without uttering a word, till he saw a gentle- 
man nodding and laughing at him, he drew the string and beckoned him to 
the carriage ; till that moment we neither of us recollected the extraordi- 
nary exhibition we both made in a public street; he introduced me, and 
told him I was the dear relation he had so often heard him lament as in the 
hands of the rebels, and of whose fate he was for such a length of time un- 
certain. We were soon at his house and were received with joy unutterable 
by dear Mrs. Hartigan, and many friends. Poor Mr. Adams went to the 
upper room in the house, actually unable to see us till he could command 


his feelings.. I pray God I may never lose sight of his infinite mercy to 
me — He gave me strength not my own — can I ever be sufficiently grateful ? 
I have written every thing that occurred without embellishment, the in* 
cidents followed exactly as I have stated them. This is a narrative of facts 
relating to ourselves, but gives little of the general features of the rebellion. 
To you my dear friend it will be interesting — you who suffered so much 
about us when our fate was doubtful. 

As ever. 

Affectionately, your*s 

Jugiut, 1798. JANE ADAMS. 



Absentbeb, 267 

Adair, village of and rulDS at, 58 to 60 

Adams, Miss, epitaph on, 242 

Affane, contest between the Butlers and Fitz- 

geralds at, 123 
Alexander, an eccentric character, 218 
AUua, or Loa, lake of, 283 
Amethysts, quarry of, at Blackrock, 215 

anecdote respecting, 216 

Annabuoy or Avonbuoy, river of, 209 
Antiquities, study of, 2 

discovery of at Ballybeg Abbey, 113 

atYoughall, 145 

near Castle Martyr, 253 

at Carrigroban, 289 

at Blarney, 307 

gold ornaments at various 

times, 318 
Architecture, sketch of the progress of, 259 to 

round towers, tee Round Towers 

stone-roofed chapels, 262 

at KiUaloe, 56 

at Cloyne, 242 

of KiLnallock described, 63 to 65 

irregular arch and fragments in 

Bridgetown Abbey, 131 

Gothic window of Yougball church 


old mansion of Ronaynes Courts 

the cathedral of Cloyne, as de- 
scribed by Bishop Bennett, 240 

inscription at Castle Lyons, 263 

■ the Irish Castle, 265 

the castellated house or court, 267 

Monastic, 268 

hospitals, friaries, and chantries, 

268 to 270 
the old parochial chapels, 270 

Architecture, the rock of Cashel, 271 

Holy-Cross Abbey, 272 

irregularity in Ireland, 273 

Ardmore, round tower, ruins and superstitions 

at, 160 to 165 
Asbestos, 321 
Aughrim, battle of, 47 
Awbeg river, 290 

Balleen, seat of Dean Scott, 127 
Ballinatry, seat of Mr. Smith, 122 
Ballincollig, castle of, 289 
Ballintemple, village and churchyard of, 212 

to 215 
Ballybeg, glen and abbey of, 112 
Ballydouve, glen of, 128 
Ballyhooley, village and castle of, 130 
Ballyslough, churchyard of, 101 
Ballyvoumey, afray at (note), 231 
Bandon, inscription over the gate of, 160 
Banshee, popular notions respecting the, 91 
Bantry, invasion of the French at, 193 
Barry, Jaittes, (the painter) 204 
Bawn, the term explained, 266 
Beerhaven, copper mine at, 313 
Beggars, 237 
Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, his observation 

respecting the English and Irish, 12 

anecdote of his kitchen wench, 224 

his character, 244 

Blackrock, village and castle of, 211 

want of places of worship at, 215 

amethysts found there, 215 

Black water river, scenery of, see Scenery 

remarks on, 1 24 

Blarney, village of, 291 

castle of, 292 

tradition respecting, and grounds of, 

Blind man, enigmatical' epitaph on a, 218 



Boyle, Me Cork, Eail of 
Breda, man of war, blown up, 201 
Bride, riTer, 288 
Bridgetown abbey, 130 to 133 
Broghill Lord, his victory over Lord Muskerry, 
42, 299 to 302 

— his defence of Lismore Castle, 127 

— excites the city of Coik to declare for 

the paiiiament, 197 

becomes the partizan of Charles 11., 1 99 

Elegy on, 219 

Brooke, Miss, her Relics of Irish Poetry, 333 

■ - translations from the Irish, by, 

Bruff, or Brougfa, village of, 63 
Buckaughs described, 235 
Buttevant, town of, 1 12 

Abbey, 113 to 116 

castle, 117 

Butts, Jonathan, 204 

Cairn na Thienia, mountain cS, 129 

Camden, his belief in charms, 83 

Cappoquin, village of, 124 

Caravat, see Secret Associations 

Carders, see Secret Associations 

Carew, family of, pedigree of the founder, 
(note) 121 

Carrickabrick castle, 129 

Carrig, seat of Franks, 139 

Carrigacrump, cave of, 251 

Carrigadrohid, castle of, 286 

Carrigaline, village and castle of, 209 

Carriga Phooky, castle of, 285 

Carrignaconny Castle, 138 

Carrigogunnel Castle, 57 

Carrigrohan Castle, 286 

Carrigtohill, village of, 218 

Carrinacurra, or Castle Masters, 284 

Castles, number of in Ireland, and traditionary 
anecdote, 265 

Castle-Hyde, seat of Mr. Hyde, 129 

Castle-Mahon, seat of Lady Chatterton, 212 

Castle-Martyr, village of, 219, 269 

Castle-Mary, seat of, 254 

Castle-More, 286 

Castle Town Roche, village and castle of, 133 
to 135 

Changelings, the term explained, and super- 
stition illustrated, 85 to 91 

Chantries, 270 

Charles II., proclaimed at Cork, 197 

restoration of, 199 

Charleville, town of, 100 

Charms, popular belief in, 82 

Cherries introduced into Ireland by Sir Walter 
Raleigh, 124 

Chureh property, sketch of its history in Ire- 
land, 246 to 250 
Clancarty, Lord, <ce McCarthy 
Clanship, bonds of, 10 
Clifford, seat of Mr. Martin, 137 
Cloyne, derivation of the name, 238 

visit of Lord Mountjoy to, 239 

cathedral of, 240 

round tower, 243 

-; Bishop's palace, 244 

derivation of names in tlip neighbour- 
hood of, 245 

destruction and revival of the See, 246 

to 250 

— MSS. at, 250 

Cluricaune, popular notions respecting the, 84 
Coal, 316 

Coins of Elizabeth's, singular discovery of at 
Buttevant, 117 

discovery of at Youghall, 144 

Convamore, seat of Lord Ennismore, 130 
Coolmore, seat of Mr. Newenham, 210 
Coolnagreenane, mountain of, 284 
Copper mines in the South of Ireland, 311 to 

Cork, derivation of the name, 185 

city of, described, 186 to 188 

account of its improvement, 188 to 193 

sketch of its history, 194 to 204 

state of the fine arts and literature in, 

204 to 206 

harbour, 206 to 219 

Remembrancer, Fitzgendds, 184 

Earl of, obtains Lismore from Sir W. 

Raleigh, 127 
— - — defends Youghall against Lord 
Castlehaven, 146 

obti^ins the ooUege of Youghall^ 


his family monument at Youg- 

haU, 149 
— critical examination of hb cha- 
racter and conduct, (52 to 160 

his scheme respecting the village 

of Carrigaline, 209 
Coronation, celebration of at Doneraile, 104 
Corracles used on the river Blackwater, 120 
Gove, town of, 208 
Courtship of the peasantry, 234 
Courtstown, «ee Knocknaclashy 
Cox, Sir Richard, his panegyric on Lord Cork, 

translation of a Keen upon, 174 

Creg, seat of Col. Stewart, castle of, 130 
Croghan Mountain, gold mines of, 319 
Cromwell, his progress through Ireland, and 
hatred of his memcMy, 1 1 


Cromwell^ anecdote of^ when at C<nrk« 197 

hk pltti of confining the Iqsh within 

limits, 220 
Crosshaven^ village of« 210 
Crow-Island mine, 313 
Crowe, Bishop of Cloyne, 244, 246 
Cidlin, tower of, near Buttevant Abbey, 117 

Dargle, scenery of the, 23 
Darlnis, seeMolanti 
Declan, Saint, 1 65 

epigrams by, 203, 308, 309 

De la Main, Mr., 192 

Desmond, Earl of. Sketch of his history, 68 to 


Sugan, Earl of, 74, 76 

— — James, the young Earl of, sketch of 
his history, 74 to 76 

■ Earls of, their arbitrary conduct, 122 

- the long-lived Countess of, 122 

Doneraile, village of, 104 

Douglas, village of, 211 

Douse, mountain of, 284 

Drake, Sir Francis, anecdote of, 209 

Dress of the peasantry, 221 to 223 

Druidical altar at Castle-Mary, 254 

Drumana, formerly, the seat of Lord Grandison, 

Drumcaragh Castle, 285 
Dundanion, castle of, 212 
Dundarerk Castle, 285 

Eeles, Major, eccentric burial-place of, 123 
Emigration of the Irish peasantry, 226 
Epithet, abundance of in Irish verse, 335 
Exham, John, the Quaker Propbet, 101 
his fanatical conduct at Cork, 198 

Fairies, popular belief in, 78 to 91 

Fennel, Colonel, his treacherous conduct at 

Limerick, 42 
Fermoy, town of, 1 29 
Feudal system, remains of the, 230 
Fever, typhus, account given by >Ir. Trotter of 

two victims to tlie, (note) 68 
Fire arms, introduction of into Ireland (note), 

Fitzgeralds, romantic titles assumed by the, 66 
family of, pedigree of the founder, 

(note) 121 
tradition respecting the foundation 

of two ablMeys at Youghall by this 

family, 146 

their tomb at Cloyne, 241 

obtain possession of the ecclesiastical 

property of Cloyne, 247 
• Cork Remembrancer, 184 

Fito-Gibbon, £unily of, pedigiee of ^e founder; 

(note) 121 
Fitz-Maurice, family of, pedigree of the founder, 

(note) 121 
Foherish river, 286 
Fdstenge, custom of, 10 
Friaries, 270 
Funeral, description of an Irish, 171 

Galtee mountains, 19 

Games played at the wake of a corpse, 1 7 1 

Gavelkind, law of, 10 

Gerald, family of, pedigree of the founder, 

(note) 121 
Geraldines, see Fitzgerald 
Giant's stairs, 210 

Gink^, General, siege of Limerick under, 47 
Glandore Haibour, metallic bog near, 315 
Glen Caum, 286 

Glen Flesk, metallic impearances near, 33 
Glengariffe, scenery of^ 20 
Glenmire, village of, and skirmish at, 217 
Gloves, Limerick, 49 
Gold ornaments, discovery of, 318 

mine in the County Wicklow, 319 

Gorrovagh, hill of, 289 

Gossipred, custom of, 10 

Gougaun Barra, lake of, 275 

Grace, family of, pedigree of the founder, 

(note) 121 
Grafton, Duke of, killed, 201 
Grogan, Nathaniel, 204 
Gur Lough, castle of, 61 to 63 

Haulbowline Island, 208 

Hawke, Lord, anecdote respecting his statute, 

Hayes, Mr. of Limerick, 50 
Hoddersfield, seat of Colonel Hodder, 210 
Holy Cross, abbey of, 272 
Hospitality, national, 227 
Hospitab, 269 
Hydrargillite, 323 

James II., relative conduct of William and, 1 1 

stote of the Protestants in Cork 

under, 199 to 303 

lands at Kinsale, 303 

Ibemo-Celtic Society, remarks on their trans* 

actions, 342 to 344 
Ideots allowed on the public roads, 34 
J^Mon family, 140 
Imokilly, seneschal of, his conduct with Sir 

Walter Raleigh, 239 
Inchegeela, village of, 284 
Inchiquin, see O Brien 
Inniscarra, church of, 289 
Intemperance, national, 227 



Ireland, its histoij considered miiinportant, 2 

sketch ot the history of, 4 

invasion of by Henry II., 5 

policy of Elizabeth towards, 5 

state of, under James I., 6 

parties and politics of Charles the 

First's time considered and explained, 


progress of Cromwell through, 1 1 

struggle between James II. and William 

in, 11 
secret associations and rebellion of 

1798 in, 14 
political state of, from 1780 to the 

Union, 16 

travelling in, 18 to 36 

scenery ctf the southern coonties of, 18 

cherries introduced into, 124 

potatoes introduced into, 152 

fire arms introduced into, (note) 255 

Ireton, his death at Limerick, 43 

Irish and EngUsh peasantry contrasted, 2 

their relative situation and 

feeling, 12 

national character, 13 

brigade, 48 

translations from the, see Translations 

language, abundance of epithet in the, 334 

Iron works and mines in Ireland, 321 

Keens, 173 to 181 («re Translations) 
Kenmare, metallic appearances near, 313 
Kerry diamonds, (Qiufftz) cut for omaments,323 
Ketyll, Dame, a noted witch, 92 
Kilcolman Castle, the residence of Spencer, 

108 to 110 
Kildare, Eari of, superstition respecting, 97 
Kilcrea, castle and abbey of, 287 
Killaloe, accommodations at, 55 

cathedral of, 56 

Killamey, scenery of, 20 
Killavullan, pass of, 138 
Kilmallock, accommodations at, 35 

town and ruins of, described, 63 to 68 

anecdote respecting the title of Vis- 
count, n 
Knockmeledown, mountain of, 123 
Knocknackshy, battle of, 300 
Knockninoss, baUle of, 116 

Latin language, knowledge of in Ireland, 325 
Laud, Archbishop, his rebuke to Lord Cork, 

Lead, 314, 317 
Lee River, 275 

progress of the, 283 

Leprehaune, ler Cluricaiuie 
Leprosy, 269 

(of, 129 

Limerick, sketch of its history, 37 to 49 
— — — city of, described, 49 

cathedral of, 49 to51 

Lismore, its cathedral and castle, 125 to 127 

MSS. at, 127 

— -^ ancient MS. found there, 334 
Literary institutions in Cork, 205 
Literature, 325 to 344 

ancient state of, in Ireland, 325 

character of the Irish village school- 
master, 326 to 329 

of the poor scholar, 326 

popular songs, 329 

MSS., 331 

■ Irish, opinions respecting its in- 

terest, 332 

Irish ode, 336 

song, 336 

elegy, 341 

poetical similes, 339 

Transactions of the Ibemo-Celtic So- 
ciety, 342 to 344 
Lua Lough, 9€t Allua 
Luttrell, Colonel, vindication of, 47 

• superstition respecting. 

Lyon, Bishop of C( 




McCarthy, Lord Muskerry, takes possession of 
Limerick, 40 

defeated by Lord Brog- 
hiU, 299 to 302 

created Eari of Ckmcar- 

ty, 302 

Teg M'Cormac, 286 

-^— — pedigree, and family names of, 293 
— — — sketch of the history of the Muskerry 

« branch (created Earb of Clan- 

carty,) 293 to 305 

aflPecting anecdote of a, 305 

Macroom, town o^ 286 

M'Donald, John, or Shane Clarah, MS. of, 62, 


epiti^h on, 102 

Kt Ollistrum 

M'Kenzie, family of, pedigree of the founder, 

(note) 121 
Mallow, town of, 139 to 141 
Manuscripts at Lismore Castle, 127 

at Cloyne, 250 

modem popular, 331 

— — ^— — ancient, 334 

Mariborough, Duke of, siege of Cork under 

the, 200 
Meteoric Stone, 58 
Middleton, town of, 219 
Mihill meetings, 232 
MiUtown, appearance of lead at, 314 



Mines and Minerals of the south of Ireland, 

310 to 324 
Molana, abhey ruins on the island of, 120 
Monkstown, village and castle of, 209 
Mucruss Lake, scenery of, 20 

— mine, 312 

" Mungret, as wise as the women of," origin 

of the proverh, 52 
Murphy, James Cavanah, (note) 204 
Muskerry, sec McCarthy 
Myrtle, luxuriance of the, at Youghall, 144 

Norris, Sir John, 140 

Oak, see Trees 

O'Brien, Donald, King of Limerick, conduct 
of, 38 

Bishop of Emly, his execution, 43 

pedigree of the Carryconnell branch of, 

(note) 57 

John, titular Bishop of Cloyne, (note), 


Marquis of Thomond, his seat, 255 

historical account of the titles of this 

family, 256 

Lord Inchiquin, his character and con- 
duct, 257 

0*Donoghue, superstition respecting, 97 

Oee, the term explained, (note) 297 

OXeary, clan of, 285, 286 

Arthur, the outlaw, 287 

Ollistrum, or Mac Allisdrum, buried at Kil- 
mallock, 67 

' remarks on the march so called, 


0*Neil, his conduct at Limerick, 42, 43 

0*Mahony, Father, 276 

Ormond, Marquess of, his proceedings at Lime- 
rick, 41 

Earl of, his hatred of the Earl of Des- 
mond, 70 

Duke of, his residence at Kilkenny, 


recovery of the title by Su: Pierce But- 
ler, 229 

O'SuUivan, Morty Oge, acoomit of, and Keen 
npon, 176 to 179 

Ovens, village of, 288 

Passage, town of, 209, 210 

Patron at Gougann described, 277 to 283 

Peasantry, their inquisitiveness respecting tra- 
vellers, 25 
difficulty of obtaining information 
and assistance from them in 
travelling, 27 to 29, 139 

their habitations, 61, 102, 128 

Peasantry, devotional rites of the, 1 15, 277 to 

their belief in fanies, witchcraft, and 

supernatural agency, 78 to 99 - 

"■ a horrible superstition of the, 234 

their superstitious ceremonies at Ard- 

more, 165 
importance attached by them to their 

fiinera], 166, 168 

their opinion of purgatory, 167 

their belief in a similarity between 

mortal and spiritual existence, 


their mode of waking a corpse, 170 

keens or death-songs of the, 1 73 to 

their conduct at the place of execu- 
tion, 182 
variety in their personal appearance 

and dress, 221 to 223 
their mode of salutation, and their 

maledictions, 223 
their ideas of freedom and indepen- 
dence, 224 

their pride, 224 

their use of hyperbole, 225 

emigration of the, to England, 226 

their hospitality. 227 

their love of drinking, and vows 

against, 228 

abduction, 230 

quarrels of clans or factions, 230 to 

their mode of turf-cutting or Mihill 

meetings, 232 

their Christmas festivities, 233 

courtship of the, 234 

their weddings, 235 

buckaugfat and beggars, 235 to 237 

their literary taste, 55 

: their acquaintance with the classics 

accounted for, 237 

their popular songs rebellious, 239 

Penn, William, his conversion to Quakerism 

and imprisonment, 198 
Philomath, specimen of his oratory, 335 
Phooka, popular notions respecting the, 91 
Poor scholar, 326 

Potatoe, first [danted at Yooghall, 152 
PoweiTConrt, water-fall of, 24 
Pride, national, 224 
Purgatory, opinions respecting, 167 

Quakers, appearance of the sect in Cork, 198 
Quartz, see jKerry Diamonds 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, grant of Molana to, 122 



Ralekb, Sir Walter, obtaiiiB the lands of 
Amie, and first plants cherries there» 124 
" ' ■ ' grant of Usmovs to, 127 

« ■ capture of Lord Rodie by, 

■ ' ^ ■ . — Mayor of Youghall, 144 

his house there, 152 

introduces the potatoe, 152 

_- iijs contest witn the Sene- 
schal of ImokiUy, 239 
Rapparee, term explained, 52 
Rathcooney, church of, 217, 270 
Raymond le Gros takes Limerick, 38 

buried at Molana, 121 

. pedigree of, (note) 121 

Relics of Irish Poetry, by Miss Brooke, 333 
Rincrew, ruin of, 120 
Ringmahon, castle of, 212 
'Rivcistown, village of, 217 
Roads, 141 
RoadBBakmg, 142 

Roche, Lor& oi Pennoy, sketch of their his- 
tory, 134 to 137 

Sir Boyle,. 137 

Rock Close, at Bkmey, 306 

Rockforest,seaiof Sir Janes Cotterj 139 

RockofCashel, 271 

Ronaynes Court, seat of, 21 1 

Ross-Island mine, 311, 312 

Rostellan, seat of the Marqnis of Thomond, 

Round tower at Ardmore, 160 

superstitions respecting the, 164 
atCloyne, 243 
' general remarks on the, 260 to 

Ryan, Edmund, (Ned of the Hills) Ekgy by, 

Ryan*s Worthies of Ireland, 344 

St Legen Sir Anthony, 104 

SirWarham, 106 

■ .. f SirWilham, 107 
St. Ruth killed, 47 

Salutations used by the peasantry, 223 
Sarsfield, Cobnel, his cendnot at the siege of 
Idmenck, 44 

death of, 48 

Scenery of the southern counties^ 18 

of KiUamey, Mucruss Lake and Glen- 

garifie, 20 
want of timber and number.of ruinrin 

the Irish landscape, 22 

^ of the Gounfy W^dow, 22 

• — of Powerscoort and the Dargle, 23 , 

— of the Blackwater riVer, between Dru- 

..mana andliismord, 123 ft> 125/ 

Scetiery of the Blackwater ri?er, between Lii- 
more and Fenooy, 128 
■ between Fermoy iad MaHow, 

130, 138 

of Cork harbour, 208, 216 
of Gougaun lake, 276 
of Blarney, 306 

Schoolmaster, Tillage, described, 326 to 329 

Second sight, 98 

Secret Associations — Heart of Oak Boys — Steel 

Boys— Defenders— White Boys-^Caravatfr— 

Shanavests— Carders, 14 to 16 
Shanavests, see Secret Associations 
Sheehy mountain, 284 
She Frogh, see Banshee 
Sil?er Mines, mine. at, 317 

account of the woriu then, 321 

found in Ireland, 320 

Similes, Irish, poetical, 339 
Skibbereen, appearance of mines near, 214 
Smith, Dr. his County Histories, 109 
Spa at Mallow, 141 

Spencer, Edmund, his account of Desmond's 
country, 73 

■ — visit to KUoolman, the for- 

mer ^dence of^ 108 to 
-__-.__- inquiry after an ongiQal por- 
trait of, 111 

genealogy, (note) HI 

— * sonnet on Sir Jk>hn Noma, 

Spike Island, 207 
Steer. Nanny, a noted witch, 93 
Strafford, Ix>rd, inconsistency in the chargea 
against* 8 

M his conduct towards Lord Cork, 

— — ^-— his recovery of Church proper- 
ty, 249 
Strancally Castle, 122 

, Story Dean, his account of the wkgR of Lime- 
rick, 45 

■ ' ■ ' his opinlon.of the Irish Iroopa, 58 
SuUane River, 285 

SupesBtitiott, horrible, 234 

Tannistry, kwof, 10,256 
Temple Michael, castle of, 120 

Lieutenant, grave of, 213 

Thomond Bridge, Limerick^ 40 

.' ' r- severe aqtion oa, 47 

— -— Marquis of, see O'Brien 
Titles, Confusion In Irisii^ 994 
Tobin, James, grave fsf,' 208 
Toomb Bridge, 285 
Tory, origin )of Ae feani^ 52 



TowQsend, Lieutenant Horace^ gallant conduct 

of, 200 
Translations from the Irish, 

Contest between Eogan and Conn of the 
hundred battles, 95 to 97 

of Keens 

No. 1, on Sir Richard Cox, 174 

2, by 0*Donoghue of Affadown, 175 

3, onMorty Oge 0*Snlliyan, 176 

4, the Smith's Keenan, 179 
Fragment to illustrate the use of Epithet, 

Song of the 0*Driscoll Clan, 337 

by Miss Brooke, 338, 341 

Ruddy*s Description of his Mistress, 339 
Travelling in Ireland, 18 to 36 

inquisitiveness of the Irish peasantry 

respecting' travellers, 25 

difficulty of obtaining information 

and assistance in, 27 to 29 

conduct of the higher classes towards 

travellers, 29 

between Lismore and Fermoy on an 

Irish car, 31 
Trees, picturesque form of Irish, 21 , 
Irish dik formerly used in many Eng- 
lish and foreign Buildings, and the 
probable cause of its superiority, 51 
Trotter, J. B., his account of the typhus fever 
at Kilmallock, (note) 68 

his visit to Kilcolman, 1 10 

Tumuli, near Buttevant, 1 1 8 

Twiss, Mr., (the Irish Tourist) annecdote re- 
specting, 193 
Tyrconnell, Lord, Death of, 46 

Vallancey, General, his superintendance of the 

works on Spike Island, 207 
Villers, Sir Richard, epitaph on, 150 

Wake of a corpse described, 170 
Wandesford, Sir Christopher, his opinion of 

Lord Cork, 155 
Warbeck, Perkin, sketch of his history, 494 
Weddings of the peasantry, 235 
Well worship of the peasantry, 282 
White Boys, see Secret Associations 
White Knight, tomb of the, 66 
William III., relative conduct of James II. 

and, 11 
his conduct at the siege of Lime- 
rick, 44 
Windsor, family of, pedigree of the founder, 

(note) 121 
Witchcrafr, popular belief in, 92 to 97 
Woodward, Bishop, his tomb in the Cathedral 

of Cloyne, 241 
Wren Boys, 233 

Youghall, town of, described, 143 

sketch of its history, 145 

history of its college, 147 

its church, 149 to 152 

severe and curious enactments of the 

corporation, 160 

3 B 

London t Prfaitod by C. RoworUi, 
B*ll-yard, T«mpl«>tar.